Corrugated Iron was developed in the early 19th C and the process of coating the iron sheeting with zinc (a process known as galvanizing) was patented in 1837.
The zinc coating greatly increased the life of corrugated iron sheets. As the material was light, strong and easy to cut into sheet, a number of companies saw an opportunity to use it in the construction of ‘flat-pack’ or ‘off-the-shelf’ prefabricated buildings.
By the late 19th century a number of manufacturers offered mass-produced corrugated iron buildings in kit form. Churches, chapels and school houses could be bought from a catalogue. A kit would comprise of a prefabricated timber frame, later erected on a brick foundation. The roof and walls were then clad on the outside with corrugated sheets and on the inside with good quality tongue and groove boarding, usually with a sheet of felt between the wood and iron.
Here’s a rather wonderful example of one such prefabricated kit, found in Hertfordshire.