Whence the term "California Roof" or "California Rake"?

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Where does the term "California Roof" come from (historically)?
I understand the asymetric nature of my roof (the top being about foot wider than the bottom) is called a California Roof (or California Rake) - but where does the name "California Roof" come from.
Before my husband died, we were planning on remodeling the house so I am continuing on with the plans despite the setbacks for us and the kids. There is so much that I don't know but one of the questions is about this term "California Roof" (also "California Rake") that he and many others bandy about as if they actually know what it means and where the name comes from. I googled and googled and googled but could not find where this term Califonria Roof (or Rake) comes from. Everyone knows what it is but not where the strange word comes from in the first place.
After asking everyone I could but to no avail so I ask you experts.
When did people first start using the term "California Roof" and why?
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ChitaShines wrote:

[snip]
This finding at Google-Books may be a starter for the necessary research:
Roof Framing - Page 239 by Marshall Gross - Reference - 1984 In Chapter 12 we'll cover the irregular California roof. It's like this roof except that the pitch on the addition is different from the pitch of the main ...
http://books.google.com/books?q=%22California%20roof%22&sa=N&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&tab=gp
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tinwhistler wrote:

http://books.google.com/books?q=%22California%20roof%22&sa=N&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&tab=gp
A peek at the Table of Contents of the Gross work (link above) shows that Ch 7, beginning at p. 233, has an extended discussion of the "California Roof." I think it probably refers to a low-pitched roof, suitable for a climate not having a great deal of rainfall but enough to warrant a pitch in the roof. Living in San Diego in a townhouse having a pitched roof, I'm grateful for that pitch even though we only get 10" of rain per year. Flat roofs here are known to have leakage problems frequently.
Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego
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tinwhistler wrote:

Flat roofs are a design that should be banned. They are a maintenance nightmare and will leak later if not sooner. Our town put out many millions reframing the HS to turn it into a pitched roof rather than continue paying and paying and paying to fix leaks with no success. The courthouse and jail are still waiting to be done (and still leaking).
Harry K
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On 5 Nov 2006 20:14:06 -0800, Harry K wrote:

Hello Harry,
A "California Roof" isn't a flat roof or even a 'flatter' roof. It's a roof where the top line at the peak is longer than the bottom line at the eaves.
But, knowing what a California Roof is does nothing to tell us whence the term California Roof.
Does anyone know where the term "California Roof" originated and why?
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ChitaShines wrote:

Oops. Must have been a senior moment. I have no idea how that got there. I was replying to a post somewhere about leaks in flat roofs.
Harry K
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ChitaShines wrote: [...]

Can't say I'm familiar either with the term or with examples, although some European cottages that were the model for the Witch's Gingerbread House seem to stick out farther at the peak than at the eaves.

Occasionally, it points out who might have started using the term.

I haven't a clue. But maybe RicodJour is right that the term is foreign to California. It would be foreign to Oregon, too, if my memory serves.
(the google book link didn't come up with an Owens book for me, and the Sunset magazine from 1898 looks to be a "in California [dramatic pause] roof gardens are common" thing. There might be a few roof gardens left out here, but that doesn't help the question in hand.)
/dps
/dps
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On 5 Nov 2006 16:26:09 -0800, tinwhistler wrote:

http://books.google.com/books?q=%22California%20roof%22&sa=N&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&tab=gp
Hello TinWhistler, I do thank you for your help but, not having the book in hand, it sure doesn't seem like the book is explaining the "origin" of the term "California Roof".
The book seems to explain how to build a "California Roof" but not whence the name "California Roof".
Why wouldn't this roofing technique be called a "New Jersey" roof for example? Or a "Low-Pitched Roof". Or a "Hot-Climate Roof"?
Is there any way to find out who coined the word "California Roof"?
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ChitaShines wrote:

Finding the true origin of any word or phrase can be exceedingly difficult. All I offered was a starting point for research, a target -- if anyone can come up with a sighting that antedates 1984, an older target is created. Having followed the postings at the American Dialect Society for considerable time periods, I've seen fairly well-researched origins antedated by years, even centuries. Very few experienced word-origin researchers think that a California sports writer who credited "jazz" to a rookie baseball pitcher in 1913 actually ended the quest for that origin -- it's an on-going process. There are quite a number of solid contributors at AUE who are particularly good researchers, frequently "pushing envelopes" back further in time on such origins. Regrettably, I don't have their resources (no newspaper archive subscriptions) or their intelligence or patient perseverance to get comparable results. Maybe if you persist a bit more you'll get real help, as there are experts who do read many postings here.
Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego
Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego
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tinwhistler wrote:
[snip]

[snip]
As a footnote, I'll add an excerpt from Gerald Cohen's posting at ADS in Jan 2005:
1) A bibliographic reference is my compilation (with due credit given) "_Jazz_ Revisited: On The Origin Of The Term--Draft #2" in: Comments on Etymology, vol. 32, no 4-5 (Dec.2002/Jan. 2003, 91 pp. --- Draft #3 will appear sometime in the next 12 months incorporating the later disicussion.
2) In 1913, "jazz" was heralded as a new word which had just entered the language, and the first attestations were in connection with baseball. There were none at this time--none at all--in reference to music. As for the sexual use of "jazz," this must have come some time after 1913. Even if the worldly-wise sports writers of the San Francisco Bulletin were unaware of the sexual meaning of "jazz" (had it existed then), someone would have certainly tapped them on the shoulder to clue them in. The term could not have been used repeatedly as it was in the 1913 baseball columns if it had a sexual meaning at that time.
3) As for "jazz" referring to a type of music in New Orleans prior to 1913, there are no contemporary attestations of this--none, zip, nada.
4) Daniel Cassidy attaches importance to the term "jazz" being first used by Irishmen (Gleeson, Slattery); Slattery reportedly first heard it as an incantation in a crapshooting game he happened to witness. But Gleeson's Irish background had absolutely nothing to do with his acquiring and then using the term. And Slattery apparently didn't use the term in 1913 beyond telling Gleeson the story about the crapshooting game. Also, the crapshooters might have been Irish, but they just as plausibly could have been African-American.
5) The etymology of "jazz" is still open for discussion. I.e., if the crapshooting story is correct (and I find it credible; all the rest of Gleeson's 1938 account--except for one minor detail--is validated in the 1913 newspapers), the crapshooting "jazz" (in: "Come on, the old jazz!") might plausibly derive from now obsolete "jasm" (energy, force). The incantation would then have meant roughly "May the force be with me."
6) So bringing Irish into the picture adds nothing to what we already know and is based on no evidence other than a possible similarity in sound (how close?) between "jazz" and Irish teas (sp.?).
7) A remaining point of uncertainty concerns the very few attestations of "jazz" in 1912, so named by Portland pitcher Ben Henderson because (according to Henderson), his jazz pitch "wobbles". My guess (and it is only that) is that it is somehow connected with "jag" (intoxication; "jags" in plural?). Now, if some similar-sounding Irish word meaning "wobble" could be found, maybe an Irish connection would be worthy of further consideration here. [end excerpt]
Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego
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Dunno about a California roof, but a California Rake describes a hot rod that is higher in the rear than the front. As opposed to an East Coast Rake, which is higher in the front.
HTH

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Chas Hurst wrote:

Thinking back to my younger days (also in California), I recall the sequence to be roughly like this:
First, cars or hot rods were *lowered*, but that was done to the back only. Later, the *rake* was established, and that was having the rear higher than the front. Then, along came the *lowriders*, but that was mainly a Mexican thing. The last suspension-altering quirk was raising the body of the car or truck to about eye level, but I have no idea what special term, if any, is applied to that practice.
I have never heard of "California Rake" and "California Roof".
--
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
http://www.geocities.com/opus731 /
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wrote:

Whoa! You left out a whole era between the rake and the lowrider: the channeled hot rods. "Chopped and channeled" meant lowering the roof by chopping off parts of the windows and window pillars. Channeled meant fastening the frame higher in the body to lower the body. "Channeled" was used long-before "lowrider" was used.
Here's a chopped and channeled 1949 Ford:
http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/naias2001-ford-original49.jpg
--


Tony Cooper
Orlando, FL
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Tony Cooper wrote:


You're right, of course. I forgot about that.
--
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
http://www.geocities.com/opus731 /
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Tony Cooper wrote:

Think it's possible to go too far?
http://www.fototime.com/4A0717D578A890D/standard.jpg
--
Frank ess


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This is about as far as one can go. http://www.decorides.com/scrapezephyr.htm
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Chas Hurst wrote:

O my.
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Because this term is (a) architectural and (b) territorial, the answer will be found only in Californian architectural sources. This is where Google fails us, casting its net too widely, but a library meets the need, especially one that collects professional journals of American architects.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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Don Phillipson wrote:

People in California wouldn't be the ones to refer to it that way. All over the country people sell "New York Bagels" - except in NY where they just sell bagels.
R
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ChitaShines wrote: Where does the term "California Roof" come from (historically)?
I understand the asymetric nature of my roof (the top being about foot wider than the bottom) is called a California Roof (or California Rake) - but where does the name "California Roof" come from.
I am thinking Eichler roof. Building is not my field, but I did live in an Eichler house for a few years. An Eichler house has an distinctive roof style, as well as other identifiable features. The first ones were built a few miles away, and there were later many subdivisions of that style. However, it was a single roof, without the dormered gables mentioned elsethread(s).
As to why it might be called a California roof rather than an Eichler roof (if indeed that is the relevant sense):
1) Almost all Eichlers were built in California. A visiting builder would likely only see them there.
2) There were Eichlers, and there were subdivisions architected by admirers of Eichlers. A California roof would be a sensible combining term.
3) The roof style was later used on other buildings besides Eichler houses.
-- --------------------------------------------- Richard Maurer To reply, remove half Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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