Henry Ziemann, a master carpenter, founded the Empire Level Manufacturing Corporation in 1919. As the inventor of the modern level, he started a revolution in the industry that became the cornerstone of Empire.

In its first three years, Empire created the adjustable level with interchangeable and replaceable vials. They followed this first success with a series of innovations: the torpedo level, the Mono vial, the magnetic level and the first extruded aluminum rafter square. The company also introduced top read levels, Monster vials, interlocking T-Squares and invented the snap-in vial. They currently hold more than thirty active patents.

Over the years, Empire has been strengthened by a number of acquisitions including:

1975 Merley Squares (squares)
1987 Peerless Level Company (wood levels)
1995 Thor Manufacturing Company (caution tape)
2000 Hempe Manufacturing (precision tools/miter boxes)
2000 Custom Plastics (advanced engineering)
2010 Acquired American Level Brand (mahogany levels)
Today Empire Level is the leading designer and producer of levels, squares, layout tools and caution tape in the United States with dominant market share in the retail, contractor supply, and ”Do-It-Yourself” markets.


Footprint Products Limited is very dominant in the retail consumer market, and we hold highest market share in Canada on some of our product categories.