Concrete Roof Tile History

The concrete roof tile history starts it is believed the first concrete tile was made in New Zealand. In early 1910 by William Thomas Cowperthwaite. The original Cowperthwaite Roofing was formed in 1906. Their first roof tile was named a Yankee tile made in the companies’ premises in Mt Eden Rd. They then came up with another tile profile called the Super Tile then the perfect roof tile came along. They continued to make roof tiles up until the mid 60`s.

Petrous roof tiles were first made in 1919 by Petrous Tile Company Ltd Caversham Dunedin. In the old Gasworks site. before spreading out to the North Island, they made many a profile of roof tile. They made a great roof tile called the Beseranza and the Atlas roof tile which are still around on roofs today.

Penman & Jefferies roof tiles (P & J Tile) were made around the 1930`s the old fashion way by mixing the sand on the floor by hand in a workshop.

Winstone ltd made a concrete roof tile called the winstone concurve. Between 1936-1939

A large number of concrete roof tile plants were dotted around the country in the 1930`s. Manufacturing started out very regional and in close proximity to where to work was. As the government had put restrictions in place due to fuel supply issues of world war 2. This in turn limited how far you could freight goods by road.

In the 1930`s when state houses were been built by the government it was stipulated that building materials in this case roof tiles must be purchased from the closets source. To help enforce this you could not get a road licence to cart the materials any great distance.

Ross Roofing started roof tile production in 1950 and produced the first Rosscrete tile. They were making 400 roof tiles by hand per day and had three machines on the go. They are still in business to this day but on a much larger scale they now have an international presence.

J J Craig’s made Craig roof tiles in St Georges bay rd in Parnell they were bought out by winstones in 1984.
DL Gibbon ltd started making leader roof tiles in 1953.

In 1965 H.C. Clarke Ltd bought in to the Petrous Tile Company.
In 1970 H.C. Clarke Ltd bought out the final capital and changed the name to CLARKE PETROUS MONIER LIMITED. then in 1970 it became known as Monier Tile Limited.

Acknowledgements: For the Concrete roof tile history page
We would like to thank Ian Ross and Des Cowperthwaite for pass on some of the their memories of those early. days