L.J. Smith’s heritage of American craftsmanship reaches far back in time.​

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 6 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.


Our Timeline of Innovations...


L.J. Smith literature features the “systems” concept that makes selecting compatible stair parts easy.


Pre-primed wood balusters were first offered to the market by L.J. Smith.


RailPro preassembled,  adjustable railing system was introduced. Also, our full line of stair parts were offered in cherry.


Published a comprehensive and systematic step-by-step stairway installation guide designed to be specific to the user’s stair design, unlike others that just contain general information.


Introduction of a complete line of stairway installation tools and hardware designed specifically for stair installers.


AccuStair design and takeoff software was made available to provide efficient and accurate stairway information.


This was a big year for us. We introduced our Patented line of Conect-A-Kit Handrail Fittings and completely reengineered our entire stair parts offering for improved stairway installations. 


Introduced Climbing Volutes to create a sweeping and elegant beginning to over the post stairways.


Added Ornamental Iron Balusters to our product offering. 


Began offering a new line of box newels consisting of fluted, raised and recessed panels—designed to match the millwork theme in many homes.


Several more tools designed to make stair installations much quicker.


Introduced a patented iron baluster fastener kit called IronPro for easily remodeling stairs from wood balusters to iron balusters. Also great for new construction. 


Patented Half Wall Box Newels to easily upgrade plain half wall stairways.


New modern Linear Collection featuring stainless steel cable and tube infills with predrilled and precut newels.


Added the modern Contempo Collection to our offering of iron balusters.



L.J. Smith furthers its leadership role combining common sense with innovation.

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