While wandering our way north to visit family this past Thanksgiving, we passed through Geneva, Illinois. A bit out of our way, but we had a purpose: to visit a surplus store known for its quirks and science supplies.
Both my husband and I come from a science background – him with chemistry and myself with microbiology, and we also both just love all things science. So, I couldn’t pass the chance to visit this surplus store when I stumbled on it while researching online about unique places in Illinois. Their main store is located in downtown Chicago but there is also a branch in Geneva, Illinois. American Science and Surplus is a surplus store like no other. Their inventory ranges from any type of glassware imaginable, to new circuit and programming kits, microbiology tools, chemistry lab paraphernalia, frogs for dissecting, and an even wider variety of “random” than I can even list.
One of my favorite things about the store were the amazingly quirky and perfectly worded product signs. Complete with cartoon drawings, they are sure to make you chuckle. Take some time to read them as you are browsing the aisles.
The first hour of exploring ticked away entirely too quickly. I gushed over dissection kits and petri dishes, while my husband was asking the employees about Buchner funnels and tubing. Our kids selected some plastic containers for foraged findings on our nature walks, choices based on how many times I had accidently smashed mushrooms while walking back to the car. In the end our purchase included: a few flasks, a Buchner funnel, various glassware and tubing, a small motor, an extendable net, and the biggest bottle cleaner I’d ever seen. By the time we were finally leaving we had spent two hours browsing around the store; we easily could have stayed longer. A detour that proved to be well worth the time and we cannot wait to visit again.