Another piece of grandpa's collection I now get to call my own, a vintage Stanley No. 00 level.
Based on the trademark detail stamped in the brass plate on the top of the level, I think it was made between 1886 and 1890 by, obviously, the Stanley Rule & Level Co.
The Stanley Rule & Level Co. was founded in 1857 in New Britain, Connecticut, by Henry Stanley. The company made all sorts of carpentry tools and by 1890 the Stanley Rule & Level Co.'s plant was a fairly sizable operation:
In 1920, the company merged with the founder's cousin's company, Stanley Works, and is still around today as Stanley Black & Decker. Unfortunately, the Stanley Rule & Level Co. plant was demo'd in the 1960s or 1970s like so many other large, urban brick structures. We'll save a conversation on the reason(s) why for another day. 😉
Anyhow, if my date guesses are correct, this exact level originally cost somebody under $2 to purchase.
Pretty cool find. It's obsolete, on the one hand, given its wooden body. On the other hand, I'm willing to bet that the bubble gauges are both still dead on, and I can't tell you how many modern, metal levels I have where 1 bubble says 1 thing and another bubble 18 inches away says something slightly different.
This was a well-built tool and cared for by the people that owned it. I'll clean 'er up a little bit and then find a nice spot to put 'er on display.