Rhett Butler '84 Talks Hardware

Rhett Butler '84, owner of the hardware manufacturer E. R. Butler & Co., was interviewed for the Home and Garden section of the New York Times.  He discusses his business, his influences, his collection (including keys from the Roman Empire), and his archive beginning with trade catalogs from the 1600s.

Butler started his company 20 years ago while an architecture student at Rice University. In two decades, he has moved from hardware restoration and sourcing to focusing on design, manufacturing, and distribution.  When he changed from standardizing mechanical systems to designing, his first project was the hub of a lock. He now has showrooms in New York, Milan, and Boston that feature both his products and those of other designers.

When asked, "Why hardware?" Butler explains, "It’s an amazing field — it incorporates design, history, material sciences. It’s a technical thing and a decorative thing at the same time, and it very well represents and rounds out my interests personally. "

Butler studied art at Hamilton College and was a member of Sigma Phi.

By Briana Wagner '13
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