They got your graticulated magnifier right here.

Er, right here, that is. I love to get lost in the American Science & Surplus site. They sell weird stuff and they have a sense of humor about it. I got their printed catalog for years, and was always charmed by the funny item copy and the rough line drawing item illustrations. Now they have photos of the items on their site, but they also offer a “hand-drawn” view of each item, so you can see how it would look in the catalog. Fun.

And special props to the copywriter or copywriters who provide item descriptions. In these digressive paragraphs you might get a bit of the item’s backstory (as in, what were they thinking when they made this?), as well as some suggestions for how to use it. And you might even get a little history or foreign language instruction throw in. Take this write-up of surplus stethoscopes, for instance:

Stethos is Greek for chest. Indeed you can scope your stethos with this stethoscope, or your friend’s or your dog’s. But it works equally well for picking up any sound being transmitted through a solid medium. Listen to the air flowing through the heating ducts, the water in the pipes, the sounds of machinery, the termites munching on the floor joists!! The color does vary so we will select from what’s currently available. We’ve had blue, teal, red, black, burgandy, green and purple, but there may be other colors yet to be seen! A great discovery device whether for biology or other pursuits. Not of professional quality, but not just a toy.

 

 

Recommended.