Museum Minute: Sheet Metal Workers of the past… The Tinner Men

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According to a 1910 publication promoting progress and prosperity in Butler, two ‘Tinners’ had businesses on the square.  A talented Tinner man could fabricate most anything and their services were in great demand.  There were even traveling tinners who made and sold their wares while moving from village to village and farm to farm.  Butler having two tin shops 110 years ago was certainly a sign of prosperity.

Ray Tyler, The Tinner (And That Ain’t All), is the proprietor of the tin shop located at 214 N. Main St.  He has been established here since 1907, and his shop is headquarters for work to be done in roofing, guttering, cornice work, tank building and bicycle and auto repairing.  Mr. Tyler was born in Butler and received his education here.   He is a highly valued member of the Elks.

Hayden Ray has worked at his trade for fifteen years, meeting with many difficulties but by constant work and perseverance, he overcame them.  These years of activity has resulted in the establishment of his tin shop at 5 West Dakota Street, where he is equipped to do all sorts of tin work, guttering, roofing, etc.  Mr. Ray was born in Missouri in 1870 and was educated in his native state. 

One photo is of Hayden Ray standing outside his tin shop.  The second photo shows a pair of huge tin-cutters donated to the Museum by the late Jim Ray, who was also the grandson of Hayden Ray.  Also pictured is a hand-fabricated tin oil can donated by William Dudley.  Both artifacts are on permanent display at the Museum.

This Museum Minute is Courtesy of Mid America Live

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