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Weiss & Klau Co. records

Call Number

MS 687


1890-1988 (Bulk 1922-1968), inclusive


Weiss & Klau Co.


6.5 Linear feet (16 Boxes)

Language of Materials

The documents in the collection are in English.


Corporate, financial, legal, personnel, and real estate records of The Weiss & Klau Co., a distributor of oilcloth, plastic-coated fabrics, window shades, and related products. The collection also includes the records of a subsidiary, Standard Coated Products, Inc., a manufacturer of these products. Photographs and memorabilia of company social functions are also present, as is some personal correspondence.

Historical Note


1887 Ignatz Weiss, Nathan Klau and Samuel Klau found the firm Weiss & Klau Brothers, for the purpose of selling and distributing table oil cloth and window shades.
1892 Weiss & Klau Brothers moves to 203 Canal Street.
1895 Samuel Klau dies.
1896 Company changes its name to Weiss & Klau.
1897 Company expands to 205, 207, 209, and 211 Canal Street.
1898 Company changes name to The Weiss & Klau Co. and is incorporated in New York State.
1911 The Weiss & Klau Co. moves to 462-468 Broadway. David Klau, son of Nathan Klau, joins company as office boy.
1922 The Weiss & Klau Co. purchases Napaul Corporation.
1937 The Weiss & Klau Co. buys bonds of Standard Textile Products, Inc., their main supplier of oil cloth and other products, in order to allow the purchase of Standard Textile by Interchemical Corporation. Fiftieth anniversary of founding of Weiss & Klau; Golden Jubilee celebrated.
1938 Nathan Klau dies; David Klau becomes president of company.
1946 Quarter-Century Club created. The club consisted of employees who had worked for Weiss & Klau for twenty-five years or more.
1953 The Weiss & Klau Co. purchases Standard Coated Products, Inc., (formerly Standard Textile Products, Inc.) manufacturer of textiles and Weiss & Klau's chief supplier.
1961 David Klau dies. Ira Oppenheimer (grandson of Nathan Klau and nephew of David Klau) becomes President.
1962 Seventy-fifth anniversary of founding of company; Diamond Jubilee celebrated.
1966 On January 27, part of the fifth floor of building at 462 Broadway collapses. Several employees are injured. In February, the plastic stock window shade business is sold to Breneman, Inc. In March, the plastic film and tile business is sold to Clopay Corporation.
1968 Standard Coated Products, Inc. is sold to American Cyanamid. The Weiss & Klau Co. changes name to K Liquidating Company and ceases operation.


The collection is organized into the following eight series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I. Corporate Documents, 1896-1968, n.d.
  2. Series II. Financial Documents, 1902-1969
  3. Series III. Real Estate Documents, 1912-1981
  4. Series IV. Personnel Documents, 1936-1981
  5. Series V. Standard Coated Products, Inc., 1922-1971, n.d.
  6. Series VI. Sale and Liquidation, 1890-1973
  7. Series VII. Social Functions, 1915-1988, n.d.
  8. Series VIII. Scrapbooks, Photographs, and Ephemera, 1896-1966, n.d.

The materials are arranged chronologically within each series, unless otherwise noted.

Scope and Content Note

The records of The Weiss & Klau Co. consist primarily of corporate, financial, legal, personnel, and real estate records. The company, along with its subsidiaries, including Standard Coated Products, Inc., Airex Venetian Blind Co., and 462 Broadway Corporation, was engaged in the manufacture, sale, and distribution, of oilcloth, window shades, plastic coated fabrics and tiles, venetian blinds and related products. Many of the records deal with the dissolution and sale of the company following the partial collapse of the Weiss & Klau offices at 462 Broadway in 1966. The collection also contains materials related to various social functions held by the company. There are numerous photographs of annual dinners and company outings. In addition, there is material relating the The Quarter-Century Club, an employee social organization which held annual meetings until 1988.

The collection supports research in New York City business administrative history from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. In addition, materials relating to employee relations and social functions provide insight into organizational culture and the environment of the work place in this time period.

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Certain materials in Series I and IV are restricted for 75 years. See the Scope and Content Notes for details.

Materials in this collection are stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as The The Weiss & Klau Co. records, MS 687, New-York Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donation, 2003.

Separated Material

A metal plaque commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of The Weiss & Klau Co. is owned by The New-York Historical Society Museum.

Collection processed by

Gabrielle Sanchez

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:50:33 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derivedfrom weissklau.xml


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