A Blast From The Past
Did you know that the Mule-Hide brand has been in existence for over a hundred years? The Lehon Company, from Chicago, IL, created the brand in 1906 and manufactured and sold shingles, siding and other roofing accessory products. Over the course of time, the ownership of the Mule-Hide brand passed through many hands and eventually went dormant until Ken Hendricks purchased it in 1985 and it has been going strong ever since.
With over a hundred years in the industry, there are bound to be a lot of interesting Mule-Hide items floating around out there. We have a nice collection of Mule-Hide branded items displayed in our National Support Center in Beloit, ranging from an early guarantee certificate to a Roof Pitch Gauge.
How do you know if it is vintage or not? Well, it all depends on which way the mule is looking. If the mule is looking to the left, it's most likely vintage. If it's looking to the right, it's definitely not.
From time to time, we are contacted by people who have discovered some “really old Mule-Hide stuff.” Just recently, a gentleman from Mansfield, Ohio contacted us to say he found an interesting piece of history in his attic and he was wondering if we would like to see it. Well, duh, most certainly we were interested.
Here is his story:
“I was working in my attic and found what looks like a tip sheet that was possibly included in the roofing materials back in 1925. I managed to piece it back together and scan a decent image of both sides. . . . . It says Mule-Hide and has the Mule logo. It also mentions Four-in-One shingles, canvas roofing, and slate kote. The manufacturer is listed as The Lehon Company, Chicago. I was impressed it was still there after 93 years. . . . . ”
“I own the home that must have originally had some top notch roofing. It is situated on one of the Historic Boulevards here in Mansfield. When they were plotting the two Boulevards out back in 1904, you likely had considerable standing in the community if you purchased one. The land was owned by none other than John Sherman, who was a prominent United States Senator and Secretary of the Treasury from Ohio. He is famous as the man behind the Sherman Antitrust Act. This home is a treasure hunt, we found two hidden rooms coming off the basement. Old tools, ginger ale bottles.”
“When I found it, it was brittle. I used steam to soften it a bit. Upon reading it, I imagined the boss climbing a ladder to give it to the new guy to show the correct nail placement. . . . ”
Here's a photo of his house:
Well, what did he find?
He found this:
If you run across an interesting piece of Mule-Hide history, please let us know. We are always wanting to expand our collection.