Lemminkäinen's roofing felt production 1920–2011
In the early years of the 20th century, roofing felt competed with sheet metal and shingles as a roofing material. Fire safety regulations added to the popularity of roofing felt at the turn of the century.
In the years following Finland’s independence, Asfaltti Oy Lemminkäinen developed strongly and the timing was right for the company to commence its own roofing felt production. A new roofing felt factory was built on Fredriksbergs Street (since renamed Aleksis Kiven Street) in Helsinki, Finland, and production started in the spring of 1920. Most of the roofing materials manufactured by Lemminkäinen ended up on the building sites of the company’s shareholders.
Tar Boy is born
The marketing of the new roofing material was handled with care, and the aim right from the start was to create a positive brand image for Lemminkäinen’s roofing felt products. As a result, Lemminkäinen’s Tar Boy brand was born in 1920. In the original Tar Boy emblem the asphalt carrier braces his stance with two buckets of steaming asphalt dangling from a yoke on his shoulders. The two rolls of roofing felt beneath his feet are a reminder of the company’s new product. Over time, Tar Boy established itself as the symbol of the entire company.
Bituminous roofing materials since 1920
The production of bituminous roofing materials began in relatively primitive conditions on Aleksis Kiven Street. In 1929, a new factory was built on the same site and the manufacture of roofing and lining felts continued there until 1954. At that time the outdated factory was replaced by a new production plant, which was built at Lohja. The factory’s products were shipped to customers not only in Finland but also in Sweden, Poland, the Baltic States, Russia and other countries. The production plant was modernised in 1970.
Lemminkäinen manufactured bituminous roofing materials and waterproofing products until 2011, when the company sold its roofing operations to Axcel, a Nordic private equity fund.