Sheet Metal - Overview
Sheet metal is simply metal formed into thin and flat pieces. In 1887, Robert Kellerstrass, secretary of the Tin and Cornice Makers Association of Peoria, Illinois—a local sheet metal workers’ union—began agitating for the formation of a national sheet metal workers’ union. The union was founded on January 25, 1888 in Toledo, Ohio, as the Tin, Sheet Iron and Cornice Workers’ International Association. A second Canadian local formed in Montreal and a Vancouver local.
The union joined the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1889. The Panic of 1893 weakened the union significantly, however, and the union’s finances collapsed. The AFL revoked the Tin, Sheet Iron and Cornice Workers’ charter in 1896, even though many locals continued to exist.
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