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The History of Leupold & Stevens

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2006 at 16:21
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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Founded On A Promise, Fueled By A Spirit Of Invention.

The Story of Leupold & Stevens, Inc.

THIS IS THE STORY of a classic American company.  Its history spans most the 20th Century.  Its very existence depended on a min-set for innovation, a nonstop quest for quality, and a healthy does of respect and opportunity for its employees.

             In true American style, the philosophical foundation laid in our early years served as a template for the company as it grew and changed over decades.  In fact, the firm’s founder established the clarity of purpose that we see at Leupold & Stevens today:

“We solemnly promise never to let down on quality;

The customer is entitled to a square deal.”

        Markus Friederich “Fred” Leupold

A GERMAN MACHINIST TRANSPLANTED HIS VISION TO OREGON.

             LIKE SO MANY FIRMS that we now think of as decidedly American, this company has roots in Europe.  Markus Friederich “Fred” Leupold was born in Germany in 1875.  At the age of 16, he immigrated to America, where he eventually worked for a Boston engineering firm as a precision machinist.

             An idealistic man with considerable sill, Fred Leupold moved to Oregon in 1907.  There, he set up a one-man operation at 5th and Oak in Portland for the repair of surveying equipment.  Fred received early financial backing from his brother-in-law, Adam Voelpel.  The firm was named Leupold & Voelpel.

             In 1911, Leupold& Voelpel moved to a building adjacent to the Leupold residence on NE 70th Avenue in Portland.  Having successfully established their credentials among surveyors, the brothers-in-law eventually began manufacturing surveying equipment.  Competition from bigger and better-financed companies forced Leupold & Voelpel to investigate other markets for their considerable skills.

J.C. STEVENS, THE PROLIFIC INVENTOR

             FRED LEUPOLD AND ADAM VOELPEL met John Cyprian Stevens shortly after the move to NE 70th Avenue.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2006 at 16:32
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The history above was provided by Leupold, the one below was provided by FundingUniverse.com

 

Address:
14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, Oregon 97006
U.S.A.

Telephone: (503) 646-9171
Fax: (503) 526-1455
http://www.leupold.com

Statistics:
Private Company
Incorporated: 1949
Employees: 520
Sales: $110 million (2001 est.)
NAIC: 333314 Optical Instruments & Lens Manufacturing; 339920 Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing; 421460 Ophthalmic Goods Wholesalers; 421490 Other Professional Equipment and Supplies Wholesalers; 421910 Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies Wholesalers


Company Perspectives:
The mission of Leupold & Stevens is to continually improve products, to develop flexible manufacturing capabilities, and to put special emphasis on customer service. The ultimate goal is prosperity and a reasonable return for our stockholders.


Key Dates:
1907: Markus Frederich (Fred) Leupold founds a business for the repair of surveying equipment.
1911: Leupold & Voelpel (the latter name is eventually changed to Volpel) moves to a building adjacent to the Leupold residence
1914: The company becomes Leupold, Volpel & Co. after J.C. Stevens joins the company as a third partner.
1938: The company introduces the Telemark, invented by J.C. Stevens.
1939: Robert Stevens joins the company.
1942: The company moves to larger production space; company changes its name to Leupold & Stevens Instruments Company after Volpel's death.
1944: Norbert Leupold joins the firm.
1947: The company introduces the Plainsman.
1949: Leupold & Stevens incorporates.
1953: Stevens retires after a stroke.
1968: The company moves to new facilities in Beaverton, Oregon.
1969: The company buys Nosler Bullets Inc.
1984: Leupold & Stevens opens a new division to head up acquisitions; the company acquires Fabmark Inc.
1985: The company acquires Biamp Systems Inc.
1986: The company sells Biamp Systems Inc.
1988: The company sells Nosler Bullets Inc.
1990: The company sells Fabmark Inc.
1998: Leupold & Stevens sells Stevens Water Monitoring Systems.


Company History:

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., a fourth generation family-owned company, is one of the oldest and best-known manufacturers of top-of-the-line riflescopes and binoculars. The Leupold line, designed primarily for hunters and shooters, includes rifle, handgun, and spotting scopes; mounting systems; and optical tools and accessories. All of the company's scopes are known for their decorative gold ring. Leupold & Stevens also sells products for a variety of military and law enforcement applications. Its customers include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Navy Seals, and various police special weapons and tactics teams. The company also manufactured water-measuring devices used in irrigation, flood forecasting, and water supply and wastewater engineering until 1998.

 

A Manufacturer of Surveying and Water Recorder Products: 1907-39

Markus Frederich Leupold began a one-man operation for the repair of surveying equipment in Portland, Oregon, in 1907 with financial backing from his friend and brother-in-law, Adam Voelpel. "Fred" Leupold was born in Ravensburg, Germany, in 1875, and immigrated to the United States from Germany at the age of 16 in 1891. After a number of jobs, he worked as a precision machinist for C.L. Berger & Sons, a Boston surveying instrument manufacturer. Leupold and Voelpel named their new business after themselves.

 

Leupold & Voelpel grew slowly in answer to the need for skillful repair of surveying and drafting equipment, and the business soon employed three others. In 1911, after a fire occurred in their building one floor below them and street vibrations interfered with the accuracy of their machinery, Leupold & Voelpel moved to a building adjacent to the Leupold residence. The firm had successfully established its credentials among surveyors, and the brothers-in-law made the decision to begin manufacturing surveying equipment.

 

Very shortly thereafter, two events occurred that changed the course of the young company. Competition from bigger and better financed companies forced Leupold & Voelpel to investigate other markets, and Leupold and Voelpel met John Cyprian Stevens, an inventor and consulting engineer and hydrologist. Stevens was born in 1876 in Kansas and had earned a civil engineering degree from the University of Nebraska. From 1902 until 1910, Stevens had worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in water studies. He soon afterward patented a device to record the flow of water that dramatically outperformed the competitive devices of the day. Stevens's device, which Leupold & Voelpel agreed to market in 1911, needing checking only several times a year as opposed to every eight days. By 1914, the demand for the new water level recorder had increased considerably. That year Stevens joined the company as a third partner, and the company renamed itself Leupold, Volpel & Co. (Voelpel had changed the spelling of his name earlier to avoid anti-German sentiment in the United States.)

 

Business for Leupold, Volpel & Co. grew slowly but steadily during World War I as the Stevens product line expanded into other models. Twice the company had to enlarge its quarters. Then, in the 1920s, the firm's water recorders and surveying products made their way around the world to India, Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, Japan, and Central and South America. By the 1930s, Leupold, Volpel & Co. had grown to number 40 full-time employees, and although, occasionally, working hours were cut during the Depression, no employee was let go.

In 1939, J.C. Stevens's son, Robert, joined the company, and took over responsibility for sales, marketing, and advertising. By then, production had increased dramatically. This growth was due largely to the introduction of another Stevens invention in 1938, the Telemark, a water level recorder that transmitted data over telephone lines. By 1942, the company had outgrown its production space and moved to larger quarters. Volpel had died in 1940, and the company now became Leupold and Stevens Instruments Company, reflecting both the new management and the direction in which the company was heading.

 

Growth Following Introduction of New Type of Riflescope: 1940s-70s

Three events combined in the 1940s to produce the company's next big break, the production of a more precise riflescope. As industrial America began to gear up to meet the manufacturing needs of World War II, Leupold & Stevens turned to manufacturing sextants and peloruses--navigational devices that take bearings based on observed objects--for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Merchant Marine. It also began to repair the Merchant Marine's telescopic gun sights. In the course of these repairs, the company's engineers made the discovery that replacing the oxygen inside a telescopic sight with pure, bone-dry nitrogen meant the sight no longer fogged. Fred Leupold died in 1944, and management of Leupold & Stevens passed on to the next generation: Leupold's sons, Norbert and Marcus, and Stevens's son, Robert. After Marcus Leupold missed shooting a buck on the rainy west side of Oregon's Cascade Range because his scope fogged with interior moisture, the new leaders, all avid outdoorsmen, turned their attent

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2006 at 16:35
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History of Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, Inc.

 

Stevens Water Monitoring Systems was founded in 1911 as a division of Leupold & Stevens, Inc. in Portland, Oregon USA. The founder of Stevens, Mr. John C. Stevens, is a well-established civic leader in Portland, Oregon's history. In addition to building Stevens into a world class water monitoring company, J.C. Stevens also contributed significantly to Portland's development and his most note worthy achievement is he was the founder of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

 

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a well-established family owned Oregon Corporation that manufactures gun scopes and has approximately 500 employees in Beaverton, Oregon.

 

During Stevens's early years, various products were developed including the original chart recorders. With installations in over 40,000 remote water monitoring sites worldwide, the Stevens chart recorders are the foundation of and have influenced the stream gaging standards used today. In fact, many of the mechanical instruments are still in gaging stations around the globe with the Stevens name prominently displayed on the product. Although in 2002, Stevens provides microprocessor based sensors, data loggers and telemetry instruments, Stevens continues to support the mechanical chart recorders, which is still the only true real-time continuous water level measurement instrument. Stevens' reputation, based on reliable equipment and quality, helped position the Company as the market leader in water resource instrumentation for most of the 20th century.

 

In the mid 1980's, the water monitoring industry was in transformation from mechanical to electronic systems. Running on the continuing success of Stevens mechanical business model, Stevens did not respond quickly to meet the changes in customers' expectation and new product demands until the late 1980's. Then, in the early 1990's, Stevens introduced new electronic instruments and set into action a plan to regain their position as the market leader. However, Leupold & Stevens, Inc. Board of Directors concluded that in the best interest of Stevens's customers, the Stevens's division should be divested to be operated by leaders having 100% focus. Accordingly, Stevens was acquired in April 1998 and is currently being managed by the new owners with an ignited fervor and passion that customers have come to expect. Stevens today is utilizing the latest in technology to help our customers succeed.

 

Under new leadership, Stevens has undergone an impressive corporate renewal and is focused on a new level of innovation, customer service and customer support.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2007 at 16:41
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Happy 100th Anniversary Leupold.

 

Order your 100th Anniversary Commemorative scope and knife soon.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2009 at 18:39
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Additional time line with more information.
 

100 Years of Leupold History

Vision from the beginning of time, that’s stood the test of time.

From humble immigrant beginnings, Leupold® grows, based on a promise of quality, to become a classic American company. In 1907, Fred Leupold set up a one-man shop at 5th and Oak streets in Portland, to repair surveying equipment. He’s joined by his brother-in-law, Adam Voelpel, and later by inventor John Cyprian Stevens, and the foundations for a century of success are in place.

During Leupold’s second half-century, the company focuses heavily on the sports optics business. Leupold’s presence in the hunting and shooting market expands, and finally dominates, with innovative optics and features that are now legendary among hunters, shooters, and outdoors enthusiasts. Many of the industry’s standards – nitrogen waterproofing, the Duplex® reticle, and more – were Leupold creations.

1907

  • Leupold & Voelpel (later to become Leupold & Stevens, Inc.) was founded by brothers-in-law Marcus Friedrich (Fred) Leupold and Adam Voelpel. Fred Leupold makes a promise to his customers that still guides Leupold today: “the customer is entitled to a square deal.”

1914

  • John Cyprian (J.C.) Stevens, a consulting engineer and hydrologist, brings his invention of the first water level recorder to the company and joins as a partner, and the business sees growing success. Fred Leupold’s son, Marcus, also joins the firm.

1937

  • J.C. Stevens develops the Telemark water recorder, a revolutionary water level recorder that uses telephone signals to transmit information.

1939

  • J.C. Stevens’ son, Robert, joins the firm.

1942

  • Company sales leap. To reflect the changes the company and the families are going through, the name of the business is changed to Leupold & Stevens Instruments Co.

1944

  • Following Fred Leupold’s death, his son Norbert, then working as a hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, joins the company.

1947

  • Marcus Leupold misses a shot at a blacktail buck due to fogged lenses in a riflescope. According to family legend, he exclaims “Hell, I could make a better scope than this!” True to his word, he does, and Leupold enters the riflescope market with the introduction of the 2.5x Plainsman.

1949

  • Leupold employs a lesson learned making optics for the military in World War II, and becomes the first optics manufacturer to evacuate the scope interior of air and then fill it with pure nitrogen, which eliminates any chance of internal fogging. Leupold’s “weather-proofed” optics quickly become popular among sportsmen.

1957

  • Following the success of the Plainsman and other early entries in the optics market, Leupold expands its riflescope line-up even further. Their popularity in the optics market leads them to create other products for outdoors enthusiasts, including a compass.

1962

  • Leupold invents the famous Duplex reticle, now an industry classic. With its heavy posts pointing boldly to the intersection, the reticle style is clearly visible even in thick cover and twilight conditions.

1974

  • Leupold introduces the industry’s first lightweight, high-power target scope.

1978

  • Leupold introduces the industry’s first line of compact riflescopes.

1983

  • Werner Wildauer named chairman of the board and president. Riflescope line continues to expand.

1985

  • Leupold introduces the Dual Dovetail™ mount system, the strongest two-piece mount in the industry. Leupold introduces the Ultra scope, which features the industry’s first turret-mounted focusing system.

1986

  • Leupold introduces the industry’s first compact roof prism, waterproof spotting scope.

1990

  • Leupold introduces the industry’s first low-light scope that balances the physical laws of optics in a scope package that delivers optimum performance to the shooter.

1992

  • For the first time in more than 20 years, binoculars are actually manufactured in the United States: Leupold Golden Ring® binoculars.

1993

  • Leupold proudly introduces the firm’s first variable power, waterproof spotting scope: the 12-40x60mm.

1997

  • Leupold introduces the Leupold Premier Scope, or LPS®, a series of technologically advanced riflescopes designed specifically for hunters.

1998

  • Leupold introduces the Vari-X® III Long Range scopes – featuring side focus parallax adjustment and 30mm maintubes specially designed for long-range shooting. Tom Fruechtel replaces Werner Wildauer as president of Leupold.

2000

  • Leupold Illuminated Reticle technology is introduced, giving hunters and shooters access to both superior light management and pinpoint shot placement in low-light conditions.

2002

  • Leupold introduces the VX®-II, a total redesign to replace the popular Vari-X II; the VX-I, a reliable scope anyone can afford; a new series of high-powered Competition riflescopes; and finally, the Leupold Mark 4® CQ/T®, a revolutionary close quarter/tactical scope.

2004

  • Leupold replaces the Vari-X III with the VX-III, featuring the exclusive Index Matched Lens System® and the Ballistics Aiming System™, which includes the Boone and Crockett™ Big Game reticle, the first optical product ever to bear the Boone and Crockett Club© name. Leupold also introduces new Rifleman® riflescopes and Rifleman mounts.

2005

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