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.
were marked L L Davis' Adjustable Spirit Level
"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
Shown below are some of the square bodied iron pocket levels with
Throughout the production of Davis levels, there were many small
By researching these "variations", I am able to put most levels in
a chronological order or "type".
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