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Joe POV

Santa Got a Brand New Slide, Courtesy of Stevenson Company

chute your eye outWhen it comes to handling precious cargo, Santa knows where to go. The crew at Stevenson Company’s workshop came up with a handy slide for the North Pole as featured in a production of “A Christmas Story the Musical” at Topeka Civic Theatre. In the classic production, grumpy Santa kicks little Ralphie down the slide at Higbee’s department store. The directors at America’s longest running dinner theater called on the Spiral Chute experts to come up with a slide design.

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Washburn Tech Enhances Welding Program

wu tech tour webStumpf (left) speaking with Hansen (middle) and Lyddane (right)Washburn Institute of Technology partners with industrial leaders to ensure students are well-prepared for the workforce. These experts assess curriculum, facilities, equipment and technology to keep Washburn Tech at the forefront of technical education.

Joe Pennington, president of Stevenson Company, Inc., and other trade professionals reviewed the educational and training program for welding. The committee toured the facilities led by instructor Dan Stumpf, who showcased new air quality enhancements and four new welding machines. The committee was introduced to some of the new technology Mr. Stumpf is using to help today’s enthusiasts become tomorrow’s professionals. Other members of the committee are Darrel Dietrich of Dietrich Inc., Roy Hansen of Matheson, Gary Lyddane, and Eva Willis of McElroy’s. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Samuel Crumbine - The Beginning of Innovation in Topeka

crumbine samuel

Though he was born in Pennsylvania, Dr. Samuel J. Crumbine made history in Kansas. Dr. Crumbine’s pioneering  public health practices established food safety and sanitation practices in the United States. Crumbine did some medical training in Cincinnati before migrating to Kansas with his wife. Dr. Crumbine made a reputation for himself as the feisty doctor who strolled the streets of Dodge City in a Prince Albert coat and a holstered six-shooter.


Dr. Crumbine’s first contribution to public health improvement was at a small restaurant in Dodge City. Being a frequent diner, Dr. Crumbine convinced the management to serve milk in individual bottles instead of open jugs or pitchers. This served as a safer and more sanitary dispensing process.

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Caring for Stainless Steel

Can stainless steel get stained? Unfortunately, yes. Can you do anything about that? Fortunately, yes.

At our shop, the world revolves around stainless steel. We cut it, bend it, weld it, roll it, so we’ve had a lot of experience with stains, scratches, and finishes. If it can happen, it probably happened here at Stevenson. The team works exclusively for industrial applications, but on the personal side, we are also the go-to experts for Aunt Petunia who left the cast iron pan in the sink on Mother’s Day, or Cousin Eddie who scratched his work surface with a beer cooler. Here are some expert tips we share with them:

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Finalist for Small Business Awards - Stevenson's History of Innovation

Old ShopStevenson Company is a finalist for a Small Business Award, recognizing a solid history of creating innovative products. Russell Stevenson bought a small tin shop in 1952 and advertised in the local business directory: "Sheet Metal Work of All Kinds." The business was located in a former stable. Though our facilities have been updated tremendously since then, we have remained at the same location. We have expanded to a total of 15,500 square feet and armed ourselves with state-of-the-art metalworking equipment.

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What a Value - Spiral Chutes Add to Your Bottom Line

Spiral with Candy CornStevenson Company is a finalist for the Small Business of the Year award, in part because of our innovative team. Our first spiral chute was installed at the local potato chip factory, who needed to eliminate product breakage. The Spiral Chute quickly paid for itself: Saving chips was saving money! Soon, every sister-plant wanted a full complement of spirals to gently and quickly move product while eliminating waste, increasing shelf appeal and boosting customer satisfaction. 

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Buying Local Actually Saves Money

steve and mark in new officeWhen Stevenson Company, Inc. decided it was time to modernize their facilities, dedication to local sourcing was paramount. "We grew up in Topeka. Our innovative products ship worldwide, but it all started by working with local food plants, supplying high quality specialty fabrications," said Joe Pennington, president of the family business. "We wanted to extend that same loyalty to our community partners." Stevenson fabricates spiral chutes - think a spiral playground slide, only sized for chips or candy - for global leaders in the food production market.

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How Patriots Revolutionized the American Metal Industry

paul revere statue

Should America produce its own metal? Paul Revere thought so. Although the patriot is much better known for his midnight ride alerting the Colonial Militia of British attack, he made his livelihood as a metalworker. He cast brass bells for churches, crafted silver jugs for dairy, and fashioned copper lanterns for - well, "One if by land, two if by sea."

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"Men of Metal" art show

thumb Joe P with toothpick at art receptionYou probably know me as president of Stevenson Company. What you may not know is that I paint on scraps of steel. “Men of Metal” is my first art exhibit and I was delighted so many of you could be among the first to see it at the VIP reception.

On the first Friday of each month Haven Arts, a local gallery, throws open its doors to the public. This weekend happened to debut my homage to the people who work at Stevenson Company. Each piece showcases a craftsman in the sheet metal trade. Silhouettes were laid out and cut using a plasma torch, then detailed using oil paint.

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5 Interesting Facts About Steel Production - from Fabtech 2016

Liquid Steel from Ladle1. New steel is made from dirt. Magnets pluck iron ore from the displaced earth. The resulting rocks are blasted for sixteen hours at temperatures of about 2700 degrees. Then the molten slop is poured into plates about 9 inches thick.

2. All steel alloys come from the same batter. Stainless steel is made by adding nickel and chromium to the mixture. Galvanized is made by ladling zinc onto the surface.

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