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Friday, October 28, 2011

Where Was the Stevens Level Company Located?

“We recently purchased a Stevens level made in Newton Falls, Ohio. Where was this company located in town?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff is familiar with Stevens levels; there are several in the library’s Local History Room.

The History of Newton Falls compiled by Ella Woodward (1942 edition) devotes page 100 to Stevens’ Levels. Ernest A Stevens Sr. developed the idea, patented, and placed a level on the market in 1914. In 1921, he and his son, E.A. Stevens Jr. formed a partnership to specialize in the manufacture of only levels. Woodward states that this “. . . novel invention . . . is destined to become of tremendous national as well as international importance . . . Though only pocket size  . . . proves to be just as effective as the larger ones, and more readily applied any place. Since 1914 Mr. Stevens developed two new models, the ‘Pocket Surface Level’ and the ‘Lino and Surface Level’ both being completed and placed on the market in December 1922.” As of 1942, the latest location of the factory was at the corner of Milton Blvd. & Arlington Rd.  The article mentioned that they had been made at different locations but the aforementioned was the present and permanent one.

The History of Newton Falls [Revised edition 1977, p. 216] notes that original building location was at the site of the present Home Oil Company on North Canal Street.  Following the death of E.A. Stevens Sr. “in 1925, his son continued the business with a location in Detroit, Michigan. The main facility was  . . . at [the southeast corner] of Milton Boulevard and Arlington Road from 1941 through 1952 . . . business was sold in 1952 to Columbian Vise of Cleveland, and later to the Warren Tool Corporation of Warren, Ohio, in 1966.”

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