"Shakes" refer to roofing tiles that have been split from wood as opposed to being sawed with a machine. Various cultures in many parts of the world have used this building material for more than 2,000 years. However, since people have been living in wooden structures for several thousand years, it's difficult to say when and where the first ones were used. Structures lived in by King Solomon may have been roofed with wood split from Lebanon Cedars and long-houses used by different Native American cultures may have also had roofing composed of shake. This was especially likely in the cedar-rich forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Shake materials were used in structures in many parts of Europe but appear to have been especially prevalent in heavily forested regions in the northern part of the continent such as Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, and Russia. The use of shake for roofs in Europe declined as much more fire-resistant slate became affordable. In North America, many of the colonist's homes were roofed with shakes even after slate increased in popularity. Cedar shakes continue to be a common sight on New England homes and many other homes and businesses across the USA although new homes tend to use durable, fire-resistant imitation shake.
Have you installed shake from DaVinci Roofscapes on your home? Tell about your experience in the comments.