Collins Aerospace Museum
Remembering the Inventory Disposal Store

The Collins Inventory Disposal Store, better known as the “Salvage Store”, has occupied many locations over the history of our company.
Hobbyists, home builders, and radio amateurs have, for years, relied on surplus components and laboratory discards for project building materials.
The heart of many a scientific masterpiece started from a “treasure” that was discovered at the Collins Salvage Store.

It would be interesting to learn when the first Inventory Disposal Store was introduced.
We do know that our company's founder, Arthur Collins, being a self-trained amateur radio enthusiast, knew the value of leftover parts from his company's production runs.
It made good sense to provide an outlet for these items - especially if it helped the buyer become a better Radio Engineer or Technician.

There is a nice article in the September 1962 issue of Collins Pulse noting the “Special Sales Department” was established in April 1958. In this article, a store in Cedar Rapids was mentioned, but they did not give away where it was located. Back then they even sold de-valued finished goods!

But alas, this good thing had to come to an end!
The invention of eBay provided an easy opportunity for certain entrepreneurs to re-sell the items.
Rockwell Collins Management, the FAA; and especially, our Attorneys became quite alarmed when they found genuine, but faulted, Collins parts - complete with our part numbers - sneaking their way into the aerospace supply chain!
At some place along the line “enough was enough” and all of the useful electronic components were removed from the store. Shortly thereafter, the store was simply closed…

The Collins Aerospace Inventory Disposal Store is now reopened, but only serving not-for-profit organizations, and they basically only handle office furniture items.
— — — —
A couple of older salvage store connoisseurs remember a location in downtown Cedar Rapids - maybe by the Cherry Building.
Also, a store that was across the street from Pennick & Ford with the back of the building to the river, circa 1964-66. The parking lot was downhill from the street and all gravel.
How many store locations can you remember?
Better yet, can you remember what items you bought …and for what home-made project?
More than likely a lot of those treasures are still lurking in your basement, patiently waiting to be put to use.

Let's take a stroll through the list of known store locations - and reminisce a bit.
The oldest store location that I can remember was at 2500 16th Avenue SW, now Dee Electronics, Inc.
I visited there in about 1968 - can't remember if I bought anything that day. I was still in college and didn't have a lot of spare change for cool radio parts.

2500 16th Avenue SW
After our store moved out, this building was remodeled for Kenwood House Furniture.
Today, the structure has been restored back to its original exterior - unfortunately it is presently not in use.

3117 1st Avenue SE

Building for sale or rent.
Main Plant Cafeteria, Building 140, before it was connected to the tunnel.
The entrance was on the West side of the building.

35th Street NE

An old building sporting a new look!
West basement under Younkers. When it was just a door in the wall.
And now, the Younkers store has been closed!

Lindale Mall

Most of the basement is now used by IowaWORKS
This one became Lucky Awards & Engraving - Now, it is empty.

701 Oakland Road NE

All ready for a new renter...
Collins Aerospace Building 105, SE Entrance.
Just a short walk into the building - past the company store.
It was open to the public by appointment only.

400 Collins Road NE

A new set of rooms were added West of the door.
Was used by Buresh Rental after we moved out. Now the buildings have been removed and a new store complex has been built in their place.

931 Blairs Ferry Road NE

All Tune and Lube - Total Car Care
Rented building in Hiawatha. Now used by Abra Auto Body Company.

770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha
Collins Aerospace Building 133, East door. It was Open to the Public.

400 Collins Road NE
Another rented building - this time in Marion.

1100 44th Street, Marion

Now rented by Lexington Motors
Present Location in the SE corner of Building 197 - across from Mainstay Suites And Hotel.

5225 Rockwell Drive NE

Open only to not-for-profit institutions.
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