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A Time When Everything Was Better

A half century ago, everything was made better. That's just the way it was back then before the Great Cheapness set in.

For microscopes the decline began in the 80's and rapidly accelerated up to and probably beyond today.

Part of my collection includes a number of these simply amazing machines that were made in Buffalo New York fifty years and fifty changes of attitudes ago.

What we have here is the toughest microscope ever made aside from my Magiscope®, which holds it's value better than any microscope. (E-bay shows Zeiss scopes selling for one tenth what I sold them for decades ago).

I was trained at that AO factory in the late 70's and knew these scopes to be the backbone of our medical laboratories and their Biology classes all across America. The AO Series 10 was literally in every hospital in the land. The design, materials, and workmanship combined to make all the iterations of this microscope the epitome of reliability.

Presently, you can buy LED light sources for your broken Olympus for only $990, and that's with a discount.

Here's the thing. They are all made in China and all their respective electronics are short-lived. They suck.

That's why they usually severely limit their "stated" warranty to just a couple of years and then all the fine print comes into play and you realize that if you need to use the warranty, then you are basically out of luck.

I recently bought several of these on E-bay and got a rude box delivered to my door. It looked like an accordion having been sat on by something that was far better packed.

When I opened the box I was shocked and after buying things, lots of things online, I thought I had seen everything.

I was wrong about that.

There in the center of this large half empty box, ere the entire group of scopes all smashed together in one twisted and hideous lump. They decide to just toss them in a box, without so much as a plastic bag between them and let them take Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for over a thousand miles. To someone like me, it's a good thing the moron who did this dastardly deed was not present as I was really pissed.

After considerable work, I was truly impressed to find only one out of the eight that had a severed mechanical stage and was therefore not as sought after. I had to make some adjustments to all the stages as they suffered the most.

The scars from their trail of tears remain on the surfaces of these scopes but the inner workings were somehow able to survive even E-Bay and it's band of clueless vendors. The absolute best quality of these American Optical 160's are their light sources.

As I had told you, all those wonderful modern illuminators have one thing in common- they are far too complex. That's why they go bad. In the base of this scope, there is only a regular bulb and an on-off switch that was made a long time ago as is eternal. That's all folks - nothing to break or try to replace only to have the same problem.

These scopes had been used by a Medical College and I bet you that they will live to regret retiring these in favor of shiny bright machines that are just Paper Tigers. There are no electronics, no circuit boards, only a clear refrigerator bulb that you can buy for a couple bucks. Sustainability was built into this entire line as they are built to last a century, like the Brock Magiscope®.

This model 160 AO has a 10x widefield eyepiece and basic 4, 10, 40 objectives that provide 40, 100, and 400 total magnification. A mechanical stage for ease of use at high power is built-in and rare in this model. The bulb screws in after removing the two screws on the basr plate. You can easily get them online.

We can warranty this microscope for three years, everything, from the date of purchase. We may still help you beyond that time as you are our customer and we really do want you to be pleased an assured.

If you're interested in learning more about the Brock Magiscope® please visit

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