American Optical


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American Optical
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Photo credit: David Steele
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203 Eggert Road, Cheektowaga NY 14215


  • Calypso Development of WNY Inc.

Physical Description

  • Mid-century factory building with Art Deco detailing.

Current Condition

  • In partial use for manufacturing.


  • Was the instrument division of American Optical.
  • The building was constructed in 1938.
  • Reichert Technologies, the successor company to American Optical, has a plant and offices in Depew.
  • From the Reichert Technologies history page: In 1935 American Optical purchased the Spencer Lens Company, located in Buffalo, New York. Spencer Lens was founded in 1895 by Herbert Spencer as Superintendent and optical expert, with eminent Buffalo surgeon Dr. Roswell Park, as President. The company was a manufacturer of high quality microscopes, and is considered the first American microscope maker. By 1938 the Spencer plant had begun manufacturing ophthalmic instruments, and a new factory was constructed on Eggert Road in Buffalo.
  • In 1945 the name Spencer Lens Company was changed to American Optical Scientific Instrument Division, and in 1950 AO relocated their Southbridge, MA ophthalmic instrument manufacturing to the Buffalo facility. This was due in part to a flood that wiped out the manufacturing plant in Southbridge. At this time AO chairs and stands were produced by Archer Manufacturing Company, of Rochester, NY. Archer was acquired by AO in 1952 and then in 1967 AO was purchased by Warner Lambert Pharmaceutical. In 1980 the Rochester facility was closed, and the manufacture of chair and stands was moved to Buffalo, NY.
  • Over the next two decades the company changed hands several times, carrying the names: Cambridge Instruments, Reichert-Jung, Inc., and Leica Microsystems. Finally, in December of 2002, a management buyout in collaboration with Summer Street Capital Partners of Buffalo, NY, occurred, and Reichert, Inc. was formed. In October 2011, Reichert Technologies joined the Ultra Precision Technologies Division of AMETEK, Inc., a U.S. company and leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electro-mechanical devices.

Recent Events and Actions Taken

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Added 2018-09-27 • Last changed 2018-09-27