R. Williamson & Associates History

About us

In January of 1882, Richard Williamson Sr. opened the doors to R. Williamson & Company on the northwest side of Chicago, IL. Offering premier gas and electric architectural lighting fixtures for all of America, specializing in stained glass, leaded glass and chandeliers. The business was fast growing, beginning in a modest 1,500 square foot facility on Milwaukee Avenue and progressing to a 115,000 square foot facility at Washington & Jefferson in 1891. By 1910 R. Williamson & Company employed more than 500 hands. 

In January of 1911 Richard Williamson Jr. saw opportunity to further grow the business through distribution. By 1914 there was not a state in the nation that was not touched by R. Williamson & Company. In August of 1931, Richard Williamson Jr. forged a historic deal with Robert Hartzell at the Hartzell Propeller Fan Company to distribute their line of propeller fans to the residential, commercial and industrial markets alike. This expansion laid the foundation for what the business is today. 

In January 1945 Robert Williamson Sr., best known as Bob, proudly returned from the Philippines after serving our country in World War II. Without hesitation he proudly joined the business marking the 3rd generation of Williamson’s in the business. Bob continued the tradition of growth through positive leadership, increased distributorship and larger sales force. After leading the company for 64 years, Bob retired in 2009. 

In January of 1973 Robert Williamson Jr. marked the 4th generation of the business upon his return after serving our country. Rob became a student of the industry and learned the business from every angle. Having a vast product and application knowledge Rob was able grow the business as well as identify and source products that complimented our existing offerings, adding commercial and industrial air cleaning to our offering. Of equal importance, Rob brought the company into the computer age, streamlining and creating processes to provide a more efficient and  effective sales experience.  

In October of 1997 Robert Scott Williamson began the 5th generation of the business upon his completion of school. Having worked under both Bob and Rob, Scott was introduced to generations of knowledge from the beginning. Putting that knowledge to quick use, Scott progressed the company to top honor accolades with many of their manufacturers. His priority from the beginning has been to maintain the same excellent level of service and growth that has been provided for 4 generations before him. 

For over 135 years, R. Williamson & Associates has been providing industry with high quality commercial and industrial equipment. Today, we provide only the finest in air movement and air pollution control equipment. If you are looking to clean up, cool off, separate, exhaust or pressurize your facility, process or people, then look no further! R. Williamson & Associates is here to provide you with the largest selection of air movement and air cleaning equipment available. We are here to offer you the application assistance you are looking for from start to finish. Equipment only or a full turnkey installation package, whatever your approach, we are eager to please.

Please Contact our team today. We look forward to working with you.

Our philosophy

Strong people, strong knowledge and strong products allow us to provide you with powerful solutions.

Hartzell Rep Pic 1938


The visionaries


Richard Williamson Sr.

Founder Richard Williamson Sr. saw an opportunity to provide America with a source of high end architectural lighting solutions. He grew the business through the early 1900’s to a multi-million dollar company, back when $1,000,000.00 was truly a $1,000,000.00.

Richard Williamson Jr squared

Richard Williamson Jr.

2nd Generation Richard Williamson Jr. saw additional opportunity to expand the business through distributorship. This idea grew the business further laying the foundation for what it is today.

Robert Williamson Sr squared

Robert Williamson Sr.

3rd Generation Robert Williamson Sr. joined the business after serving in WW II. Seizing opportunity and making new relationships he successfully ran the company for 64 years.

Robert Williamson Jr.

4th Generation Robert Williamson Jr. joined the business in 1973 continuing the legacy. Consistently improving the way business is done through various channels. Rob is still involved today.

Robert Scott Williamson

5th Generation Robert "Scott" Williamson joined the business in 1997 having big shoes to fill. In his time Scott has maintained top representative honors and is still involved today.

Our Story

Today & to The Future
Today & to The Future

Through our longstanding relationships, R. Williamson & Associates offers a wide variety of proven technology as well as the latest innovations in commercial and industrial ventilation, heating and cooling solutions. More than 125 years of longevity has proven that we know what we are doing and will continue to charge


Began offering HVLS Big Ceiling Fans for the commercial and industrial marketplace

Robert Scott Williamson Joins
scott williamson

R. Williamson & Company began offering make-up air solutions to the industrial marketplace.

Robert Williamson Jr. Joins
Robert Williamson Jr. Joins

R. Williamson & Company began offering make-up air solutions to the industrial marketplace

Robert Williamson Sr. Joins
Robert Williamson Sr. Joins
Richard Williamson Jr. Joins

Expanding the company to include a distributorship adding heating & air moving equipment to its offering.

R. Williamson & Company was founded by Richard Williamson Sr.  
industrial ventilation system company founded

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