Stephen Alexander Crosby

(1906 - 1979)

I never met my Uncle Steve.  However, note that his name appears under two different spellings all thru his life.  His own father, Clarence Wallace, also used two spellings "Stephen" and "Steven".  His inventions were all attributed to Stephen A. Crosby, yet he signed his letters as Steve.

I had known that he lived a short distance away from our house in Waukegan, IL.  It took my sister Patricia Suzanne (Sue) to make the contact per her remembrances which follow.

The Clarence Wallace branch of the family were very practical and quite inventive.  Uncle Steve was the one who had made it a profession.  He had over 50 patents, the most famous being the stapler.


Stephen Alexander Crosby at Crosby Laboratories Silver Lake, WI c1977


Remembrances by niece Patricia Suzanne Crosby

Feb 2019

c 1977

I remember how warm and welcoming Uncle Steve Crosby made me feel. I had never met him before - even though we lived less than an hour away. I was in my early 30’s.

His famous lab was a study in immaculate organization. He had endless glass covered cabinets all in orderly diagonal rows.  His amazing collection of precision calibrated tools were laid out like in museum cases - all under glass - displayed on dark red velvet - as I remember. Every item was polished, clean, and neatly laid out.  No sloppy junk drawer of dis-organization here.

There was a sense of reverence. I don’t remember the lab being big - but it felt very complete - even as I recall memories now from around 50 years later.

Uncle Steve loved showing me around. He obviously had great pride and care for his life’s work.

He made me feel very special with the care he showed me in introducing his life to me.

He told me he did custom designing for various companies out of Chicago.

His wife was Violet Lavon Thomas.

Steven had no biological children; there was one adopted son - Kenneth M.