Tin ceilings were introduced in the early 1860's, as a way for middle class homeowners to replicate the look of expensive hand-carved plaster work at a fraction of the cost. They increased in popularity through the turn of the century for use on the walls and ceilings of taverns, food establishments, grocery chains and other buildings because of their fire resistance, as well as resistance to mildew, moisture and vermin.
Many times referred to as "tin ceilings" the panels were never actually made from tin. Some companies used tin plated steel, but eventually found this costly and unnecessary as most people painted over them anyway.
Many tin ceilings originally installed one hundred years ago, are still in good repair today. While disappearing briefly during World War II, tin ceiling tiles have regained their popularity, as people continue to recapture our country's architectural heritage. Tin ceiling tiles are truly a part of Americana.