Leupold and Stevens Binoculars

Many top binocular manufacturers may be based in Europe, but Leupold & Stevens prove that quality optics are also produced in America. More than 100 years ago, Fred Leupold (not Leopold as it’s commonly misspelled), a German immigrant, opened his own one-man business in Portland, Oregon. From a shop located on 5th and Oak streets, Leupold repaired optics. An engineer named John Cyprian Stevens later joined Leupold in business.

Obviously, the copmany’s scope (no pun intended) has expanded greatly since then; however, to this day, Leupold & Stevens has been family-owned for five generations. The company struggled to survive through the first World War and the Great Depression, but during World War II, Leupold & Stevens began working with the U.S. military, crafting rifle scopes for the Army and producing optics for use on Navy ships. It was out on the open sea that Leupold & Stevens engineers gleaned valuable knowledge on waterproofing that they would later translate into revolutionizing the world of sports optics. The family-owned business is also very worker-friendly, having won a Wausau Insurance Gold Award for workplace safety at its Beaverton, Ore. factory, which, as of 2006, employed more than 600 people.

Though known mostly for their riflescopes, in 1992, Leupold & Stevens released their Golden Ring binoculars, ending a 20-year absence of binoculars produced in America. The high-end Golden Ring 8×42 is bulky, but, thanks to its camouflage-friendly brown armor covering and sharp focusing system, the binocular has become prized amongst hunters.

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