About Sheet Metal Workers 1/Central IL Chapter SMACNA
Since before 1888, Local Union #1 of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (now S.M.A.R.T.) has resided right in the heart of Illinois. In 1887, Robert Kellerstrass, Recording Secretary of the Tin and Cornice Makers Association of Peoria, Illinois, began communicating with the other local organizations promoting the idea of unity and a national organization. Peorias own Kellerstrass was elected General Treasurer at the unions first convention in 1888.
Because of the shifting of local numbers years later, there has always been some question about Peorias real right to the #1. In fact, out of the seven original locals; Kellerstrass drew #1 out of a hat in 1924 when the name of the union was changed to Sheet Metal Workers International Association. In January of 2008, The Sheet Metal Workers International Association merged with The United Transportation Union to become The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers or S.M.A.R.T. Many items are still on display at Local #1s office from those very early days of our union, a Tinners union banner, a journal from 1888, member badges, and original charters from 1888 and 1924. Now, Local #1 serves 10 counties with a membership of roughly 700 + building trades journeymen, residential journeymen, apprentices, industrial, and retired members.