American Optical

American Optical Company (AO) has a rich history spanning more than a century surrounding its long-lasting and quality-built American Optical microscopes. The history of the American Optical microscope dates back to the 1840s, starting with Charles A. Spencer, who was one of America’s very first microscope-makers. Charles A. Spencer created the Spencer microscope, which was the start of the American Optical Company.

Another person who was an important part of the history of AO microscopes was William Beecher, a jewelry business owner who lived in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and started making spectacles as part of his business. Soon after, Robert H. Cole became Beecher’s business partner, and he eventually established the American Optical Company in 1869. Years after Beecher’s jewelry company had been founded, Spencer’s son created the Spencer Lens Company, which was a continuation of his father’s work that started in the 1840s. Then, in 1935, the American Optical Company bought the Spencer Lens Company, which was when American Optical started creating microscopes.

The company researched and developed precision optics for the American military during World War II, which included the brand’s now-famous aviator-style sunglasses. American Optical hasn’t created microscopes in over 40 years since the company’s instrument division went through a lot of buy-outs over the next several years.

Today, a company called Reichert Technologies, which operates under AMETEK, carries on the American Optical name in terms of advanced optical instruments like microscopes and instruments used in eye care facilities.

These original AO microscopes were some of the first educational microscopes used in schools and laboratories. You can still find American Optical microscopes in working condition, as they were built with sturdy materials with durable construction and have stood the test of time.

American Optical Microscopes for Sale

A perfect gift for the vintage microscope enthusiast in your life, look no further than our collection of American Optical microscopes and microscope accessories. We have monocular, binocular, and trinocular microscopes from American Optical that have either been reconditioned or are classified as antiques, and every product in this collection is in working order. We also have plenty of American Optical microscope parts and accessories to keep your Spencer microscopes and AO microscopes in working condition, along with free, yearly inspections/services to your microscope for the first three years after purchase.

American Optical microscopes are rare pieces, making them perfect for antique collectors and hobbyists of all ages. Our selection of American Optical microscope parts and accessories allows you to use your microscope, and it makes a great conversation piece. If you have any questions about American Optical microscopes, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.