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Company History

Phipps & Bird was founded in Richmond, Virginia in 1925 by Morris Phipps and Lloyd C. Bird. Both men taught at what is now the Medical College of Virginia, and the business was started as a means to provide a source of laboratory apparatus, chemicals and other products for the purposes of scientific education.

The product line grew and expanded to include laboratories in other markets: Industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities; the tobacco industry; medical labs; and university research facilities. The company even became a major source of chemicals and cleaning agents for local drycleaners.

Early on, Mr. Phipps opted to concentrate exclusively on education and left the business. Mr. Bird, on the other hand, abandoned his teaching career to focus on running Phipps & Bird. The company prospered into one of the nation’s larger laboratory supply distributors, publishing a catalog of over 15,000 available items, many of which Phipps & Bird produced at its own manufacturing operation.

Mr. Bird entered Virginia politics, becoming a Virginia State Senator. (L. C. Bird High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia is named in his memory). In 1967 he sold the company to General Medical Corporation, and Phipps & Bird’s laboratory supply business was merged in with General Medical’s, forming a new entity: General Scientific.

Today, Phipps & Bird, now a private, woman-owned small business, continues to be a manufacturer of:

  • apparatus and software for student experimentation in high school and college physiology labs;
  • multiple-paddle stirrers and sampling devices for water and wastewater treatment plant laboratories;
  • hand-held electronic testing devices;
  • an array of healthcare products including portable compressors and aspirators, cardiac simulators, and healthcare facility accessories;
  • a portable solution warmer for use by kidney patients on peritoneal dialysis, a product conceived and developed by a local Richmond man.

The company’s products are distributed world-wide, and enjoy a reputation for quality, durability and dependability.

Phipps & Bird provides contract manufacturing to other local and national companies. The company offers machine shop and electronic shop capabilities, powdercoating, assembly, packaging and shipping: Complete turn-key Manufacturing Service!

In 2000 the company expanded its educational physiology product line with the acquisition of Intelitool®. This line of experiment apparatus and data collection software has been popular with colleges and universities for over thirty years.

Confast, Inc. joined the Phipps & Bird Family in December 2001. Founded in 1978, Confast provided heavy-duty boltable connectors to the Construction and Do-it-Yourself industries. Confast brackets were available at hardware stores along the East Coast. The Confast line was discontinued in 2018.

In 2016 we acquired the Associated Design and Manufacturing product line. We are grateful for the opportunity to manufacture this highly respected line of TCLP/hazardous waste testing equipment originally developed by the Varouxis family in coordination with the EPA many years ago, and we commit to maintaining the reputation for quality and excellence that these products are known for.