Crampton, born in Rock Island, IL in 1874, was using a tiny "machine shop" housed in a packing case at the age of 10. His first ambition was to be an electrical engineer, however, he decided to study medicine and obtained his M.D. in 1898 from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
While interning at Pennsylvania Hospital, still uncertain about which branch of medicine he would enter, Crampton received some advice from the superintendent of nurses, which would change his life. She had noticed his mechanical and engineering ability and suggested that he become an oculist. Crampton returned to Penn and obtained a graduate degree in ophthalmology, later he would maintain practices in Philadelphia and Princeton, NJ.
After the war Dr. Crampton returned to private practiced, mostly in Philadelphia, which gave him the ability to work "after hours" in his machine shop located at 2010 Chancellor Street. In 1920 he established Lenox Instrument Company. The year 1921 brought Lenox one of its first large contracts from the Westinghouse Company. The Westinghouse Co. was familiar with Crampton's abilities in optical instruments, asked him to make a borescope that would check against possible flaws inside the rotor of a stoma turbine.
Crampton developed the instrument in his Philadelphia shop and
delivered it in short time. It was the first of what would become
thousands of Lenox industrial applications throughout the world.