Sheet Metal Workers Local 177
Where we started to where we are headed!
Photos provided by John W. McDougall Co.
and U.S. Engineering Co.
Originally sheet metal workers were called (Smiths) there were different kinds of smiths probably the first were the gold and silversmiths they go back several thousand years. Paul Revere was a silversmith and probaly the most famous. When copper and bronze came along they were called coppersmiths. A lot of these became armorers and worked for kings and rulers to make swords and armor for the army's of the time. Blacksmiths came along when iron was discovered. They worked with forges to make tools and other implements such as horseshoes,nails,door hinges and other things made of iron and steel. White smiths are what sheet metal workers come from they worked with the white metals like tin and zinc. They made the pots and pans and also different items that are used in homes and buildings, Roofing, air ducts, certain type's siding and more.
We are the last trade that can take a flat sheet of metal and lay it out, form it and put it together from scratch. All the other trades buy what they install. The items that union sheet metal workers install are some of the most seen and admired because of their look; like copper roofs, fancy gutter work and metal siding. Because so much of the work is seen the better the craftsmen need to be and the more pride he takes in his work. Lets not forget about the things that we don't see, like the equipment and duct that heat and cool the places we live and the places where we work and play. These items are important because when they are installed correctly they can perform at their peek and save alot of money and with the high cost of energy this is very important. The sheet metal industry is in the forefront of energy efficiency and the union sheet metal workers are a key part.
The sheet metal trade has changed so much through the years with new machines and computers but we still need keep up our skills because when you go out on job sometimes you have to modify things in the field. With all the changes and improvements you can look at some tools used a hundred years ago in the sheet metal trade and they have changed very little. The pride and the skill that a true sheet metal worker takes in his or her work is what makes them true craftsmen in their trade. The future of sheet metal is wide open for the ones that want to be true craftsman in a trade that offers great opportunities.