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L. L. Davis 1867 - 1875

Leonard L. Davis began manufacturing levels in Springfield, Mass. in 1867, and over the following years produced some of the most beautiful, well made, and finely detailed levels of the century. He was an artist as well as a craftsman.

He started with cast iron inclinometer levels which had a center brass vial unit which could be rotated 90 degrees for level or plumb use, or set to any degree in between using the scale on the brass retaining ring.
 

These levels were marked L L Davis' Adjustable Spirit Level

 

These "inclinometer" levels were offered in 4 sizes from the 6" "mantle clock" style thru 12, 18 & 24" sizes.
These levels were finished with black japanning which was highlighted with hand applied gold paint.
The earlier 18 & 24" sizes were 3 1/4" tall, and are commonly called "tall frame".
Later L.L. Davis 18 & 24" levels were 2 3/4" tall. (this height was retained thru later level production)

Shown below are examples of "tall frame" & regular size levels.


 

L L Davis produced a line of wood levels in inclinometer & carpenter styles, in mahogany & rosewood.



They also produced a line of pocket levels with gold paint accents.

Shown below are some of the square bodied iron pocket levels with decorative finials.



Throughout the production of Davis levels, there were many small changes made.
By researching these "variations", I am able to put most levels in a chronological order or "type".
 

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