Practice of Slate Roofing During the 1720s

Despite the efforts of the 1720s, the practice of slate roofing gradually stopped even for church and public buildings whose owners could afford to buy foreign slate. Whether because of the failure of the local industry or the expense and inadequate supply of imported slate, during the 1730s and 1740s, tinplate or fer blanc was imported for trial on the Intendant’s Palace. Documents record that tinplate, another incombustible material, had already been used in the colony as early as 1670 by the Sulpicians. When the palace experience indicated that the tinplate soldering cracked when frozen, Chaus-segros de Lery, the roofing contractor the champion of slate, seized the occasion for its promotion: “Of all the roofs, the best in the Country is that in slate which resists the frost.”

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