The KINNEY & LEVAN CO. was a leader in the wholesale and retail sale of crockery, glassware, and other home furnishings, specializing in imports. Its predecessor, the Geo. W. Kinney & Co., began in 1879 when Geo. W. Kinney opened a wholesale lamp goods and glassware business in the Atwater Bldg. at Water (W. 9th St.) and Superior Ave. In 1883 Kinney and a young salesman, Aaron B. Levan, purchased the Bowman Bros. & Levan Co., for which Levan had worked, and opened it as their own store at 121 Superior Ave. The new partnership maintained both a wholesale and retail business in home furnishings. With the skillful buying of Levan and 6 other experienced salesmen, the firm prospered as new lines of housewares were introduced, and in 1885 the firm moved to 219 Bank (W. 6th) St. By 1912, when the company was incorporated, Kinney & Levan had trade covering 20 states and needed a new bldg. to accommodate its growth. The following year, the firm opened the largest exclusive store of its kind, a 6-story building in the new retail district on EUCLID AVE. at E. 14th St. to display its home furnishings, including glass, dinner, and silverware, decorative items, lighting and bathroom fixtures, and home appliances. The company continued to grow with over 300 employees by the late 1920s, and in 1932, enlarged and remodeled the store to make it a complete home-furnishing center. However, Kinney & Levan was a victim of the Depression, going bankrupt 11 Apr. 1936 when creditors completed the sale of its goods.

Kinney & Levan Co. Building to Better Serve, 1883-1913.

Kenney & Levan, 1883, 1913, 1918, 35th Anniversary Booklet (1918) WRHS.

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