VICI Valco Instruments

Celebrating our 50th anniversary

In 1968, the chromatography world was populated by many new companies started by entrepreneurs with creative ideas for better ways of doing the work of science. Fifty years later, that population is virtually extinct.

As one of the few companies of that era which have not become part of a conglomerate, Valco remains uniquely able to respond quickly to the needs and ideas of the analytical community in ways that are only possible with a strong, privately-owned main street business.

Today VICI comprises companies located around the world – Texas, Louisiana, Washington, Switzerland, and Italy – with over 325 employees at our company headquarters in Houston and approximately 500 worldwide. We are proud of our history and excited about the future, as exemplified by our latest round of new products.

An understanding of how products are applied in the real world is the key to knowing how to improve them. Stan Stearns, founder and president of VICI and its associated companies, went directly from university to a stint as a crime lab chemist, followed by a position in service and applications for Wilkins Instruments. His real world experience from the crime lab combined with the technical knowledge gained from long nights experimenting with the analytical instruments at Wilkins led Mr. Stearns to discover new ways of applying and improving them, inventing solutions that would make an impact across industries.

His insatiable curiosity first focused on improving valve design, with innovations that allowed analytical science to go where it literally had never gone before. Over the next 50 years this entrepreneurial spirit would pioneer the development and refinement of many more components and instruments, with VICI eventually producing more than ten thousand different parts and products—a record unrivalled in selection and technological reach.