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We are honored to have this opportunity to share with you a little bit of our history, as well as some information about the quality and craftsmanship we build into our products every day.

L.J. Smith’s heritage of American craftsmanship reaches far back in time. It all began in 1885, when a gentleman, by the name of L.J. Smith, began making stair parts and staircases in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1911, he moved his family to Conotton, Ohio, to continue the stairway business as “L.J. Smith and Son.” L.J. Smith and his son, along with seven other craftsmen, were very busy keeping up with the demand for their meticulously crafted circular stairways that were going into large homes throughout the south.

Following the death of L.J. Smith, in 1942, the company continued to thrive under the leadership of his son until, in 1977, the Smith family sold the business.

The following decade offered tremendous growth opportunities for the company. The rising demand for our circular stairways and stair parts lead to the construction of a new and much larger manufacturing facility located near Bowerston, Ohio, in 1989.

The new facility was utilized for the manufacturing of stair parts, while the original structure was renovated to accommodate the custom stair division of L.J. Smith, Inc.

Since 1991, L.J. Smith has made many strategic acquisitions and currently has 8 locations, four of which are complete manufacturing facilities, throughout the country in order to meet the needs of their valued customers.

Today, L.J. Smith is the largest stair parts manufacturing company in the country. Our continued growth over the past several decades is clearly a result of our leadership role in developing and taking to market new and innovative products & techniques. We have patents or patents pending on nearly two dozen products and processes.

The time line below illustrates the many unique ideas that we’ve developed into products or marketing tools. Many of these creations were designed to provide stair installers with alternative methods for building stronger stairways. Others were developed to broaden our product offering, providing unlimited design possibilities for any stairway.

Founded in 1947 from simple beginnings in the quaint southern town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Fitts Industries’ commitment to manufacturing excellence and focus on quality care has enabled it to become one of the most revered stair part manufacturers in the United States.

As Americans returned home following the end of World War II, focused on the future, the country began retooling for new growth and prosperity. 

Frank Fitts, Jr. embarked on his venture designing and producing precision wood components for the furniture industry.  With an inquisitive mind and a desire to try new things, Frank pioneered processes which were innovative and set the tone for alternative products and ventures.  Fitts quickly became a going concern, and in the early 80’s he sold his company to family members Frank and Lewis Fitts. 

The modern era of the company began as Fitts was contracted to make stair balustrade for an industry in great need of innovation and capacity, and there the company found its niche.  One of the first manufacturers to create and warehouse products for its customers need, Fitts quickly rose as an industry leader. 

Today, our company remains deeply rooted in the principles that laid the foundation that supports Fitts Industries’ success and longevity

Utilizing revolutionary vision and technique, our innovative concepts produce sleeker designs and better products which are shaping the modern era of staircases and redefining the relationship between the utilitarian and the aesthetic.

Question On Your Next Project?

We're here to help. Call our Spirit Lake location at 712.336.3610, our Spencer lcation at 712.262.4962 or our Lake Park location at 712.832.3268 to talk to our experienced staff.

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