GAF Materials Corporation

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Official GAF Logo

GAF is a manufacturing company based in Parsippany, New Jersey,[1] that has roots dating back to the late 19th century. The GAF acronym stands for General Aniline & Film. The company has historically been primarily focused on manufacturing of roofing materials for residential and commercial applications. At one time GAF was also active in manufacturing photographic film[2] as well as cameras and projectors (both still and motion picture), and was the manufacturer of the View-Master, the famous line of 3D transparencies, viewers and projectors. Briefly in the 1970s, it was the official film of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and at this time, actor Henry Fonda served as the company's spokesman in several television commercials including one that featured Jodie Foster in her first acting role.[3]

Jim Schnepper is the President of GAF, an operating subsidiary of Standard Industries. He states that "GAF operates, protecting our communities is what matters most. We're grateful to the communities we call home. Thankful for the neighborhoods, cities, parks, schools and other places that help give our work meaning".[4]


A home in Avalon, NJ showing GAF Asphalt Roofing Shingles.

Founded in 1886, GAF has become one of the largest roofing manufacturers in North America,[citation needed] with sales approaching $3 billion. With more than two dozen manufacturing plants located throughout the United States, the company has over 3,000 employees and sells its roofing products worldwide. Originally American IG, began as the American holdings of the German IG Farben.


1886 – Company founded as The Standard Paint Company

1892 – First ready-to-lay asphalt roofing is created, known as "Ruberoid"

1904 – Method perfected to embed colored granules in asphalt coating

1912 – Individually-cut asphalt shingles are introduced

1921 – Based on the success of its roofing line, Standard Paint changes its name to the Ruberoid Company

1928 - The American holdings of the German company I.G.Farben were organized into American I.G.; later renamed General Aniline & Film or GAF for short.

1933 – Interlocking shingles introduced

1941 - American assets seized as enemy property by the U.S. government.[5]

1965 - The U.S. government sells shares of GAF.[6]

1966 – General Aniline & Film acquires Sawyer's, manufacturer of photographic equipment[7]

1967 – Ruberoid merges with General Aniline & Film and adopts the GAF name[8]

1967 – "Timberline" architectural shingle introduced

1968 – General Aniline & Film Corp. formally changes its name to GAF Corporation[9]

1982 – Samuel J. Heyman took control of the company

1987 – Samuel J. Heyman took the company private; it continues to be owned by the Heyman family

2004 – Introduced first pre-coated energy-efficient modified bitumen membranes

2005 – Introduced first energy-efficient asphalt shingle

2007 – GAF acquires ElkCorp

2010 – Introduced solar grade single-ply TPO membranes

2011 – First company to offer lifetime limited warranty on all laminated shingles

2012 – First company to offer lifetime limited warranty on entire roofing system


On Jan. 7, 2001, GAF's principal shareholder became the 27th company in the United States to file for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code from liabilities relating to asbestos-related bodily injury claims. In what was an ill-fated acquisition, GAF's purchase of Ruberoid brought with it a product line that contained considerable quantities of asbestos. The asbestos-containing products ranged from roofing shingles and siding to insulation and numerous other construction-related products. Along with the purchase came ownership of an asbestos mine in Vermont. Once the sale was complete, GAF Corporation became the de facto leader in asbestos supplies in the state. The mine was shut down in 1975. GAF's roofing business (at the time, d/b/a GAF Materials Corporation) was not involved in the manufacture or sale of asbestos containing products and thus it did not have any liability related to these claims. GAF's shareholder emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 having discharged its asbestos-related bodily injury claims.[citation needed]

Certification programs[edit]

Steep Slope Certifications

  • GAF Master Elite[10]
  • GAF Certified
  • Authorized Home Builder

Low Slope Certifications

  • GAF Master Select
  • GAF Master

Solar Certifications

All require a contractor to be fully licensed, insured, up to date on training requirements, and to be in good standing regarding customer satisfaction.


  1. ^
  2. ^!&t=10m22s
  3. ^ 1971 GAF View Master Commercial with Henry Fonda & Jodie Foster at YouTube
  4. ^ "GAF Certified Roofing Contractor". RRS. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "General Aniline Buys Sawyer's; Management Stays in Portland". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon. November 1, 1966. Section 3, p. 8.
  8. ^ "Two Chemical Company Boards Approve Merger". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon. March 2, 1967. p. 31.
  9. ^ Barton, Frank (May 12, 1968). "New Name Merry-Go-Round". The Sunday Oregonian. Section 1, p. 33. General Aniline & Film .... changed its name to GAF Corporation at the annual meeting in Portland on April 23.
  10. ^ "GAF Roofing- Find Master Elite Roofing Contractors". GAF.
  11. ^

External links[edit]