Tools & Machinery
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"How bizarre when a dealer of unusual wares (in serious surplus) is lost and found, lost again, and found again. American Science and Surplus was a personal favorite during the early '90s when they were still distributing their paper catalogs. There was no other company like them at the time, and I haven't found anything like them since. It was great fun perusing the various categories, all the while formulating a myriad What-if scenarios, and then making list upon list for innumerable projects. As it was, many things happened since the mailed advert days, so they had completely slipped my mind until I encountered their website about a decade ago. It was thrilling to see that they had become more accessible than before, but I never got around to placing an order through their site. A lot more happened and eventually, they were forgotten again, even the store/catalog name. It wasn't until I was poking around ResellerRatings--of all places, and when the name caught my attention. That sparked something, and a visit to the site revealed Jarvis, their famed mascot! Couldn't believe it... (His design was always etched in memory, but not the store name or an acronym, go figure.) But mostly, I just couldn't believe that they all still existed. (It's a weird kind of nostalgia.)This company offers a *ton* of (possibly) useful stuff that isn't readily available in most stores, or could only appear in random piles of bric-a-brac that accumulate over years of hording... just in case. You'd think this type of dealer would go out of business, but they seem to be flourishing more than before with three physical locations in two states. A cursory look of their inventory will show you a whole slew of varied, covetable lab equipment--much more interesting than in the past--ranging from the small, traditional/ubiquitous goods, e.g., vials, flasks, beakers, slides, pipettes, clamps, stands, PH/litmus paper!, lenses, and what have you, to the more expensive items such as microscopes and the like. They offer a huge selection of various containers, cases, switches, tools, gadgets, packs, electronic parts, some science-museum-type miscellany, bits and pieces of kits, and... the list goes on. Somewhat like Trader Joe's flyers, but less aesthetically distinctive per piece, their hand-drawn item images were (and still are) both quaint and amusing. Item names and descriptions reveal a low-key, sometimes corny/sometimes clever sense of humor, but it has to be this way if they want to make the wares appealing, right? There are actual photos, too, so what you see is... what you get, more or less. However, it might be better to check out the brand names in the individual listings (for reference/research) to see if they're up to par, quality-wise. My order from them took a little longer than expected to ship, perhaps due to the item variety, but they shipped with a UPS tracking number. Initially, I thought the S&H fee was decent, but the container used was a tad oversized with the majority of its contents loose, and jangling all over the place. Although nothing was broken, this was mildly surprising: they collected and shipped ALL of the correct items for the order--something that the idiots at Uncle Sam's Army Navy Outfitters couldn't do on a good day, even if you ordered a mere few items. I know they've been at this for many decades, but it's still refreshing to see a niche company acknowledge that it pays well to be organized; happy customers = more profits = sustained existence. A brief call to their customer service was helpful when their site cut off part of my mailing address, and things were resolved within hours. All-in-all, I have to credit ResellerRatings, and the first reviewer, with this rediscovery of a unique company. Recommended."
"I bought some tools on their website and they shipped quickly with reasonable prices. They have so many different, interesting items in stock and they're overall a friendly store. I will do business with them again."
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