News - from the past & the present

September 8, 1881 – There was a Tin Man in Birmingham

September 8, 1881 – The Tin Man of Birmingham – I wonder how much of his work is still on buildings in Birmingham?

(Transcribed from Birmingham Iron Age, Birmingham, Alabama September 8, 1881)


Alonzo S. Elliott’s Tin Manufacturing Establishment

On the 2nd avenue, near the Postoffice is the flourishing hardware and stove establishment of one of the most enterprising and progressive young merchants, Mr. Alonzo D. Elliott: and just over the store is his tin-shop, which is one of the busiest, life-like places in Birmingham. He employs a number of men, as tinners. These are under the personal supervision of Mr. L. B. Culley, who stands among the first cornice and roof workmen in the Southbeing an expert in all branches of the tinner’s trade.

Birmingham 1873 from top of Courthouse by photographer O. V. Hunt (from Samford University Library)Earliest known picture of Birmingham (ca. 1874) includes  (5) T. L. Hudgins home and (6) Col. Terry’s home 

Hudgins building cornice and window caps

Mr. Elliott makes tin and sheet-metal work a specialty: and points with pride to work done by his force on the new buildings of Col. T. J. Terry, and the Hudgins building. The cornice work and window caps of those houses stand as a living advertisement of his industry. He does an immense amount of tin, slate and metal roofing, and oftimes is compelled to double his force of workmen. His repair shop is complete in every particular, ready to serve customers in any work that belongs to the trade. In addition to his large wholesale and retail stock of cooking and heating stoves and ranges, he keeps on hand a splendid assortment of tinware and house-furnishing goods, tin, slate, and metal roofing, galvanized iron, etc.

Mr. Elliott came to Birmingham just eighteen months ago, and in that time has built up a splendid business—both city and country. He believes in a free use of printers’ ink and we take pleasure in referring to his new advertisement in this issue of the Age.

Note: Alonzo S. Elliott, formerly of Huntsville, Alabama, served as an alderman in 1882 and 1884 in the administration of Mayor A. O. Lane. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Jefferson County, Alabama. (Find A Grave Memorial# 108448816)

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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