John Nicholson (1826-1885) emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to New York where he began his roofing business at the age of 26. After hanging his shingle out at 644 Hudson Street in New York City, the company quickly became the premier sheetmetal installer for the many of the prominent properties and owners of the time. During this period, the company specialized in sheetmetal roofing and cornices. Company projects continued throughout the Civil War period, 1861 – 1865. John Nicholson was tragically killed in 1885 on the construction site of the new Standard Oil Company Headquarters being constructed at 26 Broadway in New York City.