C&H Surplus is still open! They moved from Pasadena to a building on the corner of Royal Oaks and Buena Vista in Duarte. Inside, it’s chock-full of industrial surplus.
For those of you who love metal, rust, and mechanical “stuff” be prepared for a high.
AC blowers, bottles, gears, hoglet clutches, rheostats, springs and sprockets, rectifiers, regulators, resistors, tachometers, tin copper braid, universal joints, voltage regulators, wheels, wire, waf-o-grips, wheels and wires. Some pieces are unidentifiable, even by the owner.
This is steampunk heaven.
joltleft.com was introduced to this store by Gaylord Eckles, an instructor at Art Center College of Design who sends his students there for supplies.
The C&H website describes customers as “…inventors, experimenters, movie prop artists, and just about everybody else.” Add to that list architectural students and artists of all kinds. Including steampunks.
A definition of steampunks and their movement:
- “Steampunks are modern craft people who are very into spreading the means and methods of working in archaic technologies.” (Bruce Sterling, “The User’s Guide to Steampunk”).
- A retro-futuristic movement with its roots in a fascination with Victoriana and the fiction of Jules Vern (“A Journey to the Center of the Earth”, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”).(Jeff Vandermeer, “The Steampunk Bible”)
- Some say the term was coined by K.W. Jeter, an American science fiction and horror author (also called the godfather of steampunk) in his letter to sci-fi magazine Locus in 1987.
The steampunk genre is present in music, movies, comics, art, literature, magazines, apparel, jewelry, and home decor. Oh, yes! And hamster cages. joltleft.com met a steampunk enthusiast shopping for parts to decorate her hamster cage.
If Huell Howser has been to C&H (see photo) you know it’s worth seeing.