TAMKO Invests in Innovative Technology



TAMKO Building Products, Inc. has invested heavily in the technology and innovation to stay at the forefront of the industry. By integrating new technologies into the company’s operations, TAMKO has been able to boost efficiency and profits, while producing quality products for its customers.

Here are some of the innovations TAMKO has implemented throughout the years:

Conversion to Glass Mat

During the time that Jay Humphreys was president of TAMKO, the market share of fiberglass mat began to grow. When it made up just 30 percent of the market share, Jay decided to covert TAMKO’s operations to produce fiberglass mat. A small fiberglass mat mill was built at TAMKO’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant in 1972. Another, larger one was established at the Rangeline-Joplin, Missouri plant in 1982. Roofing manufacturers that didn’t switch to fiberglass mat went out of business. By the early 1980s, 70 roofing companies had closed their doors.

Office Automation

In the 1970s, before digitizing documents was the norm, Jay acknowledged the need to minimize paperwork and developed a system of scanning files to microfilm. In the mid-1980s, the company automated its payroll, freight tracking, and customer ordering processes. Several of the computer systems formed at this time were very advanced and were still used until the mid-2000s.


When he took the reins of TAMKO, David Humphreys continued to automate TAMKO’s processes. He upgraded TAMKO’s plants with machines and technology and further improved efficiency by introducing a method call anti-tampering.  Anti-tampering involved removing variables in operations. Some of the advancements implemented under David’s leadership include “Dolly and Jake” automated, guided vehicles used as forklifts at the Ennis, Texas plant, and “Tamra”, a state-of-the-art stacking robot used on the Tam-Rail composite railing line at the Lamar, Missouri facility.

Heritage® Shingles

TAMKO was the first company in the roofing industry to develop a line of specialty shingles based on the colors found in nature. The Heritage® shingles line combined the natural beauty of wood or slate with the strength and durability of asphalt shingles. TAMKO added unique cuts and granule shadowing to enhance the natural colors.

To learn more about TAMKO Building Products, Inc. visit www.tamko.com.

TAMKO Roofers Basketball Team

Close up shot of a basketball on a hardwood gym floor


TAMKO Building Products has always been actively involved in community sports and has sponsored a variety of teams and sporting events. The most notable of the TAMKO teams is the company’s basketball team, the TAMKO Roofers, that competed for five seasons in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The TAMKO Roofers were formed at a time when teams consisting of men from companies and other organizations would compete against each other at the local and national level. This was prior to the formation of the National Basketball Association. The TAMKO Roofers formed in 1947 as part of the YMCA Open League. The TAMKO Roofers soon became the team to beat, and their most memorable game was their victory against the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.

On January 6, 1948, approximately 850 spectators filled the Memorial Hall in Joplin, Missouri, where the two teams faced off. At the end of a close game, the TAMKO Roofers defeated the Globetrotters in a stunning 34-33 victory.

As reported by the Joplin Globe at the time:

“A free throw by Lester Cooper, who was fouled at the final buzzer, decided the game after a seesaw struggle in which neither team was able to muster a comfortable lead. At one stretch during the second half, the lead changed hands 10 times and once was deadlocked at 33-33. It was at that point that Cooper made good his free shot for the victory.

The contest became rough in the final minutes and at one time seemed almost out of hand, as the players of both sides battled for possession of the ball and for every advantage, and at one stage of the mix-up, Coach Gene Cookerly of the Joplin team appeared ready to pull his quintet from the floor.”

During the team’s five seasons of play, they won 81 out of 92 games, including this momentous victory. In honor of their achievements, the team was inducted into the Joplin Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

The team dissolved in 1951 after several members went into the military. Though the team played just five seasons, they created a great legacy that TAMKO and the people of Joplin can take pride in.