You Can Find Strange, Hard-To-Find Items At This One-Of-A-Kind Shop In Illinois

American Science & Surplus had its beginnings in the late 1930s after its founder, Al Luebbers, noticed that the company next door to where he worked was throwing away lenses. Al, who had a particular interest in optics, asked to buy the lenses. Instead, the company told him he could have them just as long as he hauled them away. And so he did. He and his wife then cleaned the lenses and sold them using an ad they placed in Popular Science. Orders started to pour in and so they launched their business, calling it American Lens & Photo at the time.

Over time, the business expanded. With the end of World War II, war surplus items were incorporated into the inventory.  Al soon opened a retail location in Chicago, calling it American Science Center which carried educational science goods and the company kept growing. A second location was added in Milwaukee, WI, and eventually, one in Geneva, which was opened by the new owner in 1991, and the business name was changed to American Science & Surplus.

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Have you ever shopped at an American Science & Surplus location? If so, what strange, unusual items were you able to find? Please let us know in the comments!

For more information and to shop the online store, visit the American Science & Surplus website or Facebook page.

Address: 33w361 Roosevelt Rd, West Chicago, IL 60185, USA
Address: 5316 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60630, USA