Weber-Staub-Briscoe architectural collection, 1909-2010
This collection includes photographs of 940 pattern boards (design molds) and metal castings of architectural details such as stair rails, fencing, and other metalwork ornaments manufactured by Weber Iron & Wire Company from the 1930's to the 1990's in Houston, Texas. Some were designed by architects John F. Staub and Birdsall P. Briscoe. The original boards and molds are also available for research through the Woodson Research Center.
The collection also includes photographs, architectural drawings, reference books, and tools used in the manufacturing process, along with invoices from the company from 1933 to 1987. These materials are not available online here but can accessed through the Woodson Research Center. A finding aid to the entire collection can be found online.
Founded in the late 1920's by Herman Weber as Weber Iron Works, Weber Iron & Wire Company became instrumental in creating original designs and duplications of fine nineteenth-century ornamental ironwork and metalwork for the projects of many of Houston's leading architects and builders, most notably John F. Staub and Birdsall P. Briscoe. Gustav Reimers, a vice-president of the company and son-in-law to Herman Weber, spearheaded this part of the operations of the company until his death in 1942. Jim Weber, the grandson of the founder, joined the firm in 1965 and presided over the company until its sale in 2008. In order to produce the exceptional metalwork exactly as specified by the designs of the architects, scale and full-sized drawings of the designs were created. Some designs were forged by hand. Most were created by a detailed process including the formation of a replica of the design in clay which was cast in aluminum and placed on a pattern board used to make the final castings in iron, bronze, or aluminum. The body of work produced by Weber enriched Houston's heritage for the greater part of the 20th century, and continues to be admired in many of Houston's architectural treasures.