The 1884-1885 World Cotton Exposition in New Orleans introduced new household and building products to fair visitors. Various companies, including those represented by local agents, advertised their wares in such publications as The Industries of New Orleans: Exposition Year (1885).
German immigrant carpenter William Willer was an enterprising Wisconsinite whose sash, door and blind company introduced a number of patents in the late nineteenth century. All were developed by William's son Henry E. Willer, whose first patent, for an interior wooden sliding blind, became immensely popular (US patents 312,051; 312,052; and 312,053). At the peak of the family's operations in the first decade of the twentieth century, the company employed over 200 people.
The Willer Manufacturing Company was represented in New Orleans by architect-brothers William C. and C. Milo Williams. The latter employed Willer's sliding blinds in his design for a residence located at 1406 General Taylor Street, a structure no longer standing. The blinds can be seen through the second-story windows in the photograph below.
Williams Family Office Records.
Prints are from Willer's patent inside sliding blinds: manufactured under 10 letters patent granted to Henry E. Willer: other applications pending. Milwaukee, WI: William Willer, 1885. Trade Catalogs Collection.
An additional Willer catalog may be accessed via the Building Technology Heritage Library.
Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.