Metal ceilings are a uniquely American story. Mass-produced, embossed steel panels were first available in the U.S. during the 1880s and marketed as economical, fireproof ceilings. These early metal ceilings were tin-plated to retard rusting. The stamped patterns were complex and ornate, meant to stand in for decorative European-style plasterwork ceilings (at a fraction of the cost). Later designs extended to Art Deco and Colonial Revival patterns. Easy to install and needing only minimal maintenance, they were popular across the country. “Tin ceilings” remained popular until World War I, when manufacturers’ efforts were directed elsewhere. Their current popularity dates to the Victorian Revival of the 1980s. Since then, metal ceilings have been used in commercial and residential interiors, painted or even clear-finished for a more industrial look.