About Us


Founded in 1957, Bunton Instrument Company began as the mid-Atlantic franchised dealer for E. Leitz, Inc. (USA). The founder was Paul Bunton of Washington, DC who began his microscope sales career with Spencer Lens Company....later becoming American Optical. He acquired the Leitz franchise in 1957 and in 1960 joined forces with James F. Averill who was the mid-Atlantic Leitz sales representative at the time. Bunton and Averill operated out of a small office on Connecticut Avenue across from the National Zoo in D.C. Four years later Mr. Bunton passed away and Averill moved the operation closer to his home in Rockville, MD. By 1968 James F. Averill was joined by his son, James G. Averill (#20 in the photo at your left).  #20'S son is the cyclist in the green jersey.  The company focused their efforts on growing the Leitz microscope market share in Maryland, Virginia and DC. Bunton Instrument soon began a Leitz microscope service shop in Rockville headed by Mr. George Eckhard who was trained at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar, Germany. Bunton Instrument became one of the few dealers in the USA with the expertise to do warranty repairs and routine P.M. on Leitz microscopes. We developed many specialized accessory items for the Leitz microscopes over the years and built one the very first Ploem illuminators for the then-new epifluorescence method (early 1960's) involving dichroic beamsplitters and interference exciter filters.

After nearly 40 years of dedication to the promotion, sales and service of Leitz products we were advised in 1994 that our franchise was terminated by the newly formed Leica Microsystems firm. That firm has since been acquired by the USA (Washington, DC) Danaher Corporation and most of the former Leitz microscope franchise operations are long-gone as microscope selling in the USA is mostly a direct contact situation with the microscope corporate entity. The major microscope lines, Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss and Leica (aka "NOZL") have very few local independent dealers (now known as "vendors"). We also offer the fine microscopes from Infinity Photo Optical (Colorado, USA made) that are designed for use with digital cameras ranging from your iPhone to the latest sCMOS sensor imagers from Sony and high performance digital cinematography cameras from the likes of Arriflex and Black Magic.

I have noticed lately that there are many lab supply and on-line sellers of NEW NOZL microscopes here in the USA. The days of local microscopy support and service after the sale is a thing of the past. If one needs help in using their microscope properly or correcting problems that call for mechanical expertise they are usually faced with a real roadblock. Try getting through to talk to a live human and getting your problem solved quickly via a "five year" or "lifetime" warranty on new equipment.   Microscope down-time in a busy lab is a crisis that calls for quick action by the vendor who sold you the microscope. Thank goodness there are quite a few very good local service shops who are usually very responsive to your needs and have the expertise to get you up and running again. We can help you find the best microscope service provider nearest to your lab. You will not get such knowledge or quick repair action from a lab supply house or mass-microscope internet sales outfit!

Bunton Instrument Co., Inc. continues to support the Leitz microscope line with service and reconditioned microscope offerings from the years 1960 to about 2000. RRR....Repair, Recondition and Re-use is our motto. We still provide the fine German-made Leitz microscopes (previously-owned) along with modern upgrades such as LED illumination (replace incandescent bulbs and mercury arc lamps), digital camera technology and software to support fantastic methods such as stitching, stacking and image analysis. A Bunton RRR microscope with digital upgrades can be offered to our customers for less than half the price of new microscopes ...with our own full one year warranty period.
Thanks for your interest and taking the time to tour our website.  As in the past 60-plus years, we look forward to being of service to you!

Bunton Instrument
Company, Inc.


12610 Jesse Smith RD
Mount Airy, MD 21771
(301) 831-3434

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