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- Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau
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The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau was created when the Board of Trustees of the West Coast Lumbermen's Association passed a motion creating a “shingle branch” for better management of the North American shingle market in a Seattle meeting dated February 26, 1915. The Lumbermen's Association proposed the branch would function as a “Branch of the West Coast Lumber Manufacturers Association.” [book 1, p.1, “Extracts from Minutes of Board of Trustees of West Coast Lumbermen's Association Relative to Formation of Shingle Branch.”] Shingle men would contribute their professional knowledge to the Branch's formation and select a Secretariat. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Shingle Branch of the West Coast Lumbermen's Association met at the Association offices #1011 White Building, Seattle, on April 3, 1915. A committee of ten was appointed on April 12. On April 26th the Shingle Branch Secretariat requested three representatives (shingle manufacturers) from the Shingle Branch placed in the West Coast Lumbermen's Association. The third meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Shingle Branch further detailed the operation of the Branch. Bi-weekly meetings were set up, and a business committee of three was appointed for weekly meetings. The meeting also set goals for grading, inspection and product qualities. The following meeting planned for market reports and a national network of distributors for shingle products. Minutes first make reference to a Shingle Branch President in the September 25, 1915 meeting; the minutes identify John McMaster as first President. Regional coordination continued when on October 8 in Everett, Washington an open meeting of the shingle manufacturers from Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia was called by President McMaster. The meeting generated a general program with resolutions for all manufacturers to follow. Subsequent meetings addressed administrative and operational concerns including advertising, freight rates, grading, tariffs, and pricing. After weeks of debate, the Shingle Branch passed resolutions concerning an advertising plan and a proposed contract for grading rules for all members to necessarily subscribe. On January 14, 1916 the Shingle Branch adopted the Rite Grade standard as a standard for all membership and a topic for advertising. This remained in place for many years. By 1917, a grading rule committee was created to enforce quality control in its membership based on the Rite Grade standard. For several years the structure of the Shingle Branch of the West Coast Lumbermen's Association consisted of five committees: the Advisory Committee; the Star Committee; the Advertising Plan; the Business Committee; the Board of Trustees. On December 11, 1919, at a joint meeting of the Shingle Branch Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee on Advertising, E.C. Miller was nominated President. At the same meeting former President McMaster was nominated President Emeritus.
On December 1, 1920, the Rite-Grade Shingle Association incorporated in the State of Washington [Rite-Grade Shingle Association Minutes, Box 1, File 2, Minutes, 1921-1922, p. 4]. The articles of incorporation identified the Association's purpose to be “Advertise and to create and extend a market for red cedar shingles...[and] secure the adoption of practices, rules and regulations in the manufacture, preparation for sale, and sale of red cedar shingles ....” The corporation aimed to function in both the United States and the Dominion of Canada [“Objects and By-Laws, Box 1, File 2, Minutes, 1921-1922, pp. 6-7; 10]. The articles identified the structure of the organization. There would be a President, Vice-President, Manager, Secretary, and a Treasurer. At the March 30, 1921 meeting of the Rite-Grade Shingle Association, E.C. Miller was nominated President. At the December 8, 1921 meeting, N.C. Jamison, of the Jamison Lumber and Shingle Company, was nominated President along with a new slate of executive members. Over the course of the year, operational and administrative goals and objectives were fleshed out.
While the Rite-Grade Shingle Association incorporated, the Shingle Branch of the West Coast Lumbermen's Association continued its operations. On November 8, 1921 the West Coast Lumbermen's Association passed a motion at a meeting to support an “Assignment of Trade Mark” giving over to the Rite-Grade Shingle Association “All rights and title to and interest in that certain Trade Mark.” [“Rite-Grade Shingle Association Inc., Original Minutes, 1921-1922,” Box 1, File 2, p. 12]. As the assignment explained, the Lumbermen's Association “sells, assigns, transfers,” to the Rite-Grade Shingle Association “all the good will of the business with which said Trade Mark is used.” The Shingle Branch continued to promote the Rite-Grade standard in future operations. The Shingle Branch rewrote its by-laws in 1921 to account for the segregation of the Rite-Grade Association.
A general meeting of January 8, 1925 witnessed the reorganization of the Shingle Branch, of the West Coast Lumbermen's Association. At a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Red Shingle Bureau, a new association was formed representing the American mills and taking over the work of the Shingle Branch. In this meeting the Board of Trustees moved that the name of the Shingle Branch, West Coast Lumbermen's Association, be changed to Washington and Oregon Shingle Association. On December 3, 1925, at the Annual meeting of the Shingle Branch, West Coast Lumbermen's Association, it was decided, the West Coast Lumbermen's Association divorce itself from the Shingle Association work. It was agreed the Shingle Branch “re-form its present plan for proceeding with its work.” [West Coast Lumbermen's Association Shingle Branch Original Minutes, Box 1, File 2, December 3, 1925, p. 2]. This marks the start of the Red Cedar Shingle Bureau. This transition is reflected in the fact the first minutes of the Bureau are recorded in the minute book of the West Coast Lumbermen's Association [box 1, file 2, January 8, 1926]. Further confirming this organizational transformation, in April 1926 the Red Cedar and Shingle Bureau incorporated its organization in the State of Washington [box 1, file 2, see Articles of Incorporation, Box 1, File 3, file page of minute book]. By May 16, 1930, discussion over consolidation again with the West Coast Lumbermen's Association was under discussion [Box 1, File 3, Minutes, Red Cedar Shingle Bureau, May 16, 1930]. The minutes through much of the 1920s-1930s concerned marketing product and combatting North American anti-shingle legislation. Over time, the Bureau concentrated on controlling and promoting its brand and certification as a means to answer government safety legislation.
The Bureau made a considerable effort in its early years to standardize production for marketing and safety. Arthur Beavan, early Bureau manager, began concerted standardization programmes announcing government recognition of a commercial grade shingle in 1931. William W. Woodbridge, Beavan’s successor, introduced the Certi-label brand of shingle classification still in use today. Beginning July 1, 1931 quality standards were written and across the 1930s approximately 90% of the industry adopted standardization. Standardization was followed by an industry wide labelling program. With standardization and labelling, the industry introduced a concerted advertising campaign. The industry survived the1930s depression and economic difficulties of the Second World War through this organization. The post-war witnessed a building boom and machine grooved shakes for exterior siding grew popular. In response the Bureau formed an affiliate, the Stained Shingle and Shake Association. The work of this affiliate merged with the Bureau in 1954. An important result was the Certigroove label and an inspection and grade-making service for the product. The building boom of the 1950s also saw a return to the split cedar shake, a product from the early Pacific Northwest pioneers. This new product and other innovations led to a sharp increase in industry automation. New techniques for shingle production and logging transformed the industry. The Hand-Split Red Cedar Shake Association formed in 1956. It merged with the Red Cedar Shingle Bureau in 1963 to form the Red Cedar Shingle and Handsplit Shake Bureau. Over the next two decades the product lines broadened, production grew more sophisticated. In 1988 the organization changed its name to the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau. In the 1980s the Bureau provided grading and marketing services for Certi-Split shakes, Certigrade Shingles, Certigroove shakes, Certi-sawn shakes, Certi-guard and Certi-last shakes and shingles. Modern production peaked in 1978 when 6,554,477 were sold and the Bureau enjoyed a budget surplus of nearly $500,000. Since then the industry has contracted due to alternative products, environmental issues, and general economy. In 1986 under the Canadian government’s Western Diversification Industrial Expansion programme the Bureau, in partnership with the Fraser Valley Shake and Shingle Association, implemented a five-year Incremental Funding programme to support the industry. The programme injected $21.5 million into education, training, and promoting the profession to builders, architects, consumers and state regulatory officials. The move solidified the declining industry. In the 1990s the Bureau membership remained steady at approximately 260 manufacturers located in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, California, and Alaska. The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau continues to operate in its coordinating role for industry players.