Boucher-Lewis ( - )
In 1905, Mr. Horace E. Boucher, a French naval architect employed by the United States Navy, made the observation that scale models, although in common use throughout Europe, were practically unknown in the United States. Consequently, he left Government service as the former head of the Navy's model shops in Washington to establish his own company and later partnership with Patton Lewis in New York City. With the help of contracts from the Navy Department their firm soon became nationally renowned as the premier builder of fine scale ship models. During World War II and into the decades of the 50’s and 60’s the heavy demand for naval and commercial vessels resulted in record orders for models. Many still remain on display in maritime museums, yacht clubs and Government offices. Although best known for its marine models, the Boucher/Boucher-Lewis name is usually identified with the wide range of museum-quality models found in the most prestigious collections.
The company also created and developed a line of commercial kit model depicting various vessels from the Great Age of Sail to modern era ships and military vessels. These kits provided carved basswood hulls, authentic plans and fine brass or Britannia metal fittings. These products are now marketed under the company name “Bluejacket Ship Crafters”.
In 1974, upon the retirement of Patton Lewis, the Company was run by William Lewis who relocated the company to Minnesotta, in so doing expanded into the defense and industrial market. Although its legacy - that of museum quality ship and transportation models - is a vital part of the Company’s image, industrial models are now its benchmark. Their reputation for detail, authenticity and precision workmanship has been ably captured in the many different kinds of displays and models.