A quick response came from historian Sara Weissman.
"The enclosed indicate that Fable and Co launched in Philadelphia in January 1921. The news item is from Sheet Metal Worker issue of Jan. 7, 1921, p 474. "
Sounds like sheet metal was a big deal back then, if a publication dedicated to the subject is 500 pages long.
Her email continued, "The box ad with slogan is from the Swarthmore College yearbook of 1936. Firm principal Frederick A. Fable died in 1944, age 81, still president of Fable & Co, per his death certificate."
The Veblens added the roof to the house in 1941, and if the roofing tin truly is "of unexcelled quality," as its 82 years of service attest, that fits with the reputation of the Veblens, and the Matthews Construction Company, which built many buildings on Princeton University campus, along with Veblen's roof.
Interestingly, in my inquiry, I had misspelled the name as "Fabel," but Sara found that I was not the only one to misspell the business owner's name. "He was recorded as Fabel in the 1900 Census."
In the 1970s and ‘80s, thousands of people began developing serious illnesses as a result of exposure to the company’s asbestos products. Many instituted legal actions against Johns Manville, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 1982.
After decades of bankruptcy proceedings and changes in ownership, Johns Manville still manufactures construction materials, but now they are asbestos-free.
Now, in 2024, the Veblen House roof has begun to develop small leaks here and there. We will likely need to replace it rather than do repairs, but it speaks to the quality of the house that the roof has served well for 82 years.