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Sheldon Laboratory Systems

Sheldon Laboratory Systems, located in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, has long been an essential part of learning for students across the United States and around the world. Sheldon, better known as “GEM” (General Equipment Manufacturers) to Mississippi locals, manufactures laboratory casework and technical equipment for the education, industry, and healthcare markets.

The former GEM company started in Mississippi as a small wood-working plant in the 1950s. In 1977, GEM’s parent company, Mississippi School Supply Company (now MISSCO), purchased the original Sheldon Laboratory Systems, which was founded in Muskegon, Michigan in 1898.

After the purchase, the entire operation moved to Crystal Springs and was absorbed by GEM. In absorbing the name and products of Sheldon, GEM also inherited the Sheldon reputation for being one of the most highly regarded and well-respected casework suppliers in the industry. Since that time, products known worldwide under the Sheldon Laboratory Systems’ brand have been produced and shipped from the Crystal Springs facility. GEM officially changed its name to match its well-known Sheldon products in October of 1978, and produces close to 25 million dollars in products per year at its 100-employee Crystal Springs facility.

Sheldon products are in such high demand that they can be found all over the world. Its products are marketed by Sheldon dealers covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia; its laboratory equipment goes to markets in Canada, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other regions around the world. Even though products are sold internationally, all of Sheldon’s products are manufactured in Mississippi; additionally, Sheldon uses raw materials found in Copiah County and throughout the state when available before seeking other sources. Approximately five to seven million dollars are returned to Mississippi businesses by Sheldon each year.

What has ultimately enabled Sheldon to become a multi-million dollar company is its commitment to excellence. Its products are reinforced with steel rods in a thru-bolt construction technique rather than the more commonly used dowel and glue method seen with many cabinet manufacturers. The company has worked closely with educators to develop products that are durable enough to withstand typical student abuse as well as meet aesthetic expectations and the needs of the classroom. Sheldon works with the needs and budget of clients and can outfit a very small school laboratory up to a multi-million dollar facility.

Part of its success can also be attributed to the personal attention given to each client. With roughly 300 people touring the facility each year, clients are able to see the production process and see the final products. Sheldon also tailors each product to the specific need and vision of the school including size, type, and even color. Consultants also help with the design and layout of the laboratory to ensure space is not wasted and rooms and workspace are still functional.

Sheldon is continually developing new products in conjunction with consultants and teachers in regard to what is best for the student to help in their learning capabilities. It currently has close to a dozen patents in production and five new designs pending. Sheldon products are now being used in universities and major school districts throughout the nation, including most schools in Mississippi.

Sheldon also works with the Crystal Springs community and Copiah County region for local events. Sheldon is a corporate sponsor for many community festivals including the Tomato Festival and Chautauqua Park Bike Rally, and employees are well-known and active in the local community.

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