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Frontier Museum, VA - German Farm 1700's


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Bill, any thoughts on the roofing tiles here not being half over half? Why doesn't the roof leak?

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Bill, any thoughts on the roofing tiles here not being half over half? Why doesn't the roof leak?

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Excellent question. I had the same question decades ago when finding original tile roofs under layers of later roofing covering early PA German buildings. I thought it was odd that these early German builders, that typically built outstanding structures wouldn't put any side-lap to roofing tiles.

Here's the answer for many early German-American tile roofs:

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I also have an illustration in an 18th century book from Germany showing the 2 methods of laying tiles. The one without the side-lap shows a channel, or lip, moulded onto the edge of each tile.

The alignment of the tiles both vertically and horizontally must be that strict order & structure thing that the German people seem to be known for.

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