Founded by Rhett Butler, the hardware manufacturer E. R. Butler & Co. is renowned worldwide for producing exceptional architectural hardware. The company produces hardware that fuses beauty with functionality, based on patents and designs of fine architectural builders' and cabinetmakers' early American, Federal and Georgian period hardware. E. R. Butler & Co. are successors, in particular, to four 19th century firms dedicated to technological achievement in the art of manufacturing locks and house trimmings for the American building trades.

During Mr. Butler's lecture he will provide a general overview of company history and focus on the production of glass knobs for architectural and decorative purpose based on designs (ca. 1820s–1860s). He has designed door handles in coral, resins, most semiprecious stones, pearls and every kind of wood and metal. He will discuss some of his treasure trove of 50,000 catalogs, designs, blueprints, molds, and finished objects dating from the 1600s; as well the one of a kind products and restoration projects he works on.

E. R. Butler & Co. has showrooms in New York, and Boston and manufactures from Red Hook, Brooklyn, and Braintree, Boston. Mr. Butler has designed thousands of different pieces of unique hardware for client's homes. He has supplied hardware to former presidents, Nobel Prize-winning novelists and Oscar-winning actors. For Bill Gates' mansion in Washington State, he created door handles with the grip of an antique French dagger (designed by Thierry Despont).

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