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History of Laboratory Devices Company 
Oscar "Pete" Thompson was working at San Jose State University as a Lab Tech in the engineering department when he saw a need for an outside vender to produce the test specimens used in the labs. So, in 1957, he started Laboratory Devices Company working full time at the college and making the test specimens in his garage. Within a few years other schools had caught wind of his business and started placing orders. He outgrew the garage rapidly and moved the business to a warehouse. 

In 1981, he moved his wife Joan, daughter Heather, and son Robert, to Auburn, California, where they had three acres. The business grew enough that he quit working at the college and ran Laboratory Devices full time with the help of his wife Joan, who answered the phone and did the books. He built the shop on his property where they had their home and raised llamas. 

In 1995, his son, Robert, started his own business, Double Disc Grinding. His main client was Oscar. At that time, Robert ground the bars to make charpys instead of Oscar having to send them out to be done. Robert also worked for his father at Lab Devices. 

In October of 2002, Oscar retired and his son Robert and his daughter in law Melodie bought the business. At that time they lived in Placerville and the shop was still in Auburn which was a two hour commute each day. In November of 2003, they started building the shop on their own five acres. They completed their shop in July of 2004 and moved the business to their property. 

The business continued to grow over the next decade. Unfortunately, in February of 2014, Bob was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. In order to focus on quality of life and work on his bucket list, Bob and Melodie made the tough decision to put the business up for sale. In May of 2014, their nephew, Ian Hill, joined them to assist with the day to day business while Bob underwent treatment and took some wonderful vacations with friends and family. 

Since joining them, Ian began to take over more and more of the aspects of the operations, and became committed to continuing the family business. To that end, he and his parents, Fred and Luann LaMay, purchased Laboratory Devices in January of 2015. Everyone, including Pete and Joan, were excited to keep Laboratory Devices within the family. 

Bob continued to do well until November of 2015, when he finally succumbed to the cancer. We will all miss him greatly and, in his honor, we are committed to continuing the family business with the same personal attention and level of service that our customers have come to know during the past 58 years. 

The shop is still on Melodie's property, and now Ian and Seth (a long time friend of Ian's) do the work in the shop, and Fred handles the office work. Feel free any time you are close to Placerville to stop in and say "hi".

4707 Peace Trail - Placerville, California - 95667
Phone: 530-344-1072 Fax: 1-866-735-1275

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