NSANationalSlateAssociationLogoThe National Slate Association hosted the Penn Big Bed Convention this past weekend. The NSA is an organization consisting of members associated with slate quarries, roofing contractors, architects, educators, and distributors. Once a year, the group gets together at a slate specific location and explores the area. This year it happened to be in our backyard of Philadelphia, PA.


  • Penn Big Bed Quarry Trip – Since 1934, Penn Big Bed has been mining and manufacturing slate in the state of Pennsylvania. Areas of production include roofing slate, slate counter tops, fireplaces and window sills, as well as slate turn tables and turkey calls. Pete Papay was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the slate industry.



  • athenaeum-reading-roomTour of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia – Founded 1814 to collect materials “connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge” for public benefit. The current exhibit is called “Color in a Can: Early Marketing of Paint in a Can.”


  • Tour of John Stortz & Son – Founded in 1853 in Old City Philadelphia is our businesscheesesteakatjohnstortz which sells slate and metal roofing tools. We opened the doors and showed the NSA members our facility. The tour concluded with a cheese steak eating contest where all participants voted for their favorite. Dalessandro’s was voted the best.


  • Old City Tour – Old City is one of the oldest Philly_Street_Commonsparts of the country and much history has taken place in this area. Attractions include Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest continuously inhabited residential street), the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall.




  • NSA Auction – Slate oriented items and tools were donated for contribution to the slatebirdhouseorganization. Old slate hammers, training seminars, and slate bird houses were also auctioned off.


Preservation and the Slate Industry” by Cory Kegerise
Everything you always wanted to know about slate but were afraid to ask” by Victor Cardenes
NSA Education Initiative”  by Bob Fullmer
Slate Roof Accessories” by Mark Mullins
Working with Zinc” by John Sheridan
The World of Cooper” by Guenther Huber

Slate and Sheet Metal Demo

Big thanks to John Sheridan who works with Umicore to promote the sale of Zinc and Guenther Huber and Daniel Delle of Ornametals / Copperworks for their participation in setting up the slate and sheet metal mock up. Doug Cochran from Reclaimed Roofs in Wilmington, Delaware provided the slate.


Thank You’s

Tim Underhill deserves a round of applause for dealing with the countless issues that pop up when organizing an event such as this. Julie Palmer was instrumental in making sure all the events went to plan. I also want to thank the wonderful members who make this such a great organization to be a part of. I look forward to increasing membership and bigger turnouts in the future.