|In 1875, L L Davis reorganized
his company as the Davis Level & Tool Co, and continued production
of his fine levels.
These are generally marked
Davis Level & Tool Co.:
The filagree on the Davis Level & Tool Co. inclinometer levels was
finer than the earlier L L Davis levels, and it appears that the
filagree on the 12" models was so fine that it was too easily
broken. The 12" models were modified by adding reinforcement to
the filagree in several places. These "reinforcements" are easy to
spot as they don't flow with the pattern of the filagree. This
modification was apparently done early on, as the unreinforced
versions are scarce. (level comparison)
The finish was again black japanning, but the gold paint accents
were only carried on for a short time - mainly on the 6" & 12"
The Davis Level & Tool Co. also produced a line of cast iron
"carpenter style" levels with level & plumb vials. The first of
these "carpenter style" levels were unmarked and had no filagree,
but had the distinctive finials on the end of the level vial found
on many Davis levels. They were somewhat plain, and are called
"spindle" levels in reference to the spindle shaped support
columns. They were made in 4 sizes: 6",12", 18", & 24" long. There
has been some debate as to when these were first made. I have
noted that some of them use an 1871 patent adjustment for the
plumb vial, while others use an 1883 patent adjustment. Obviously,
they were only made for a short time, and were fragile due to the
limited amount of support between the top & bottom rails. The
second type of carpenter levels were stronger, and the 12", 18", &
24" sizes now had a nice filagree pattern. Earlier versions
had paper tags, which are usually missing. Later versions have
brass tags with Davis Level & Tool Co. Springfield, Mass. on one
side of the level, and pat'd May29, 1877, 1883 on the other side.
Shown below are examples of the "spindle" and the second type of
The line of wood
levels was phased out at some time during this period.
The Davis Level & Tool Co. produced a new line of "pedestal"
levels, and nickel plated hexagon bodied pocket levels. The
pedestal levels were unmarked, but had the distinctive Davis
finials. The hexagon levels were marked Davis Level & Tool Co,
Springfield, Mass., and had the Davis finials also.