SmartLevel, an electronic builder’s level (1985-1996) :: Smithsonian Lemelson Center
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Oral & video history documentation

The Lemelson Center's oral and video history projects increase historical documentation on invention and innovation in the United States.
Above: Guitarist G.E. Smith is featured in the Electric Guitar Video Documentation Project. Smithsonian photo by Jeff Tinsley.

Full descriptions of the following collections may be found by searching the archives and manuscripts section of SIRIS, the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Unless otherwise noted, all collections are housed in the NMAH Archives Center. For further information, contact the Archives Center Reference Desk.

Oral & video history documentation is listed in alphabetical order by subject of interview. Date of interview is in parentheses.


SmartLevel, an electronic builder’s level (1985-1996)

Oral history interviews, photographs, and papers documenting the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level. The SmartLevel was conceived in 1985 by Andrew G. Butler, who formed Wedge Innovations in 1986 in the basement of his home in order to develop and market this level. The company developed the sensor technology and software necessary to build the WedgeLevel. The heart of this tool was an electronic sensor circuit connected to a microprocessor capable of measuring the tool's orientation.

13 cu. ft.: 22 boxes containing design notebooks, detailed technical drawings, financial statements, correspondence, operational records, advertisements, company management policies, and audio interviews with key inventors and business associates (in Series 7).

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