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About Us

About Us

Specialty Optical Systems, Inc. (SOS) founded in May of 1981.

Our Founder:

William F. Petty (May 1939-2004) began his career in Los Alamos, NM working with the microbiological effects of radiation in the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s, he decided to work for Zeiss as a microscope salesman where he worked with companies, hospitals, and institutions to accomplish their optical needs. Then in the early 80’s he decided to step out on his own and pursue the dream of owning his own company. With the help of his wife he accomplished this goal.

For over 35 years Mr. Petty pursued the field of optics with a passion to satisfy customer requirements and SOS continues with his passion as a family owned and operated business today.

Our Plan:

In May of 1981, Specialty Optical Systems original business plan was to distribute microscopes, optical systems and technical lighting to high tech companies throughout the Southwest. The business literally started on a breakfast room table until moving to our own building.

Requests for replacement light bulbs for systems led to a relationship with Ushio America starting in 1984. SOS secured exclusive rights to distribute Ushio stepper lamps used in semiconductor photolithography processes starting in 1985. SOS also became authorized distributors for GE Lighting, Osram/Sylvania, Philips Lighting and several other specialized lighting manufacturers.

SOS Today:

As SOS became recognized as an excellent source for hard to find parts we rapidly grew our product offering. Today, SOS provides over 4,500 parts to the semiconductor industry and participates in Supplier Managed Inventory programs with consignment inventory in seventeen locations in four states. Medical facilities, churches, educational institutions, entertainment facilities, TV stations, theaters, manufacturers, laboratories, and general industrial users are all important market segments we now serve.

On the Internet:

  • February of 1998, SOS launched which at the time was the first web site that specifically targeted semiconductor spare parts for fabs. The site was sold to another company.
  • January of 2003, SOS launched as an e-commerce web site to detail our optical product offering and laboratory supplies.
  • March of 2004, SOS launched which targets retail or consumer replacement light bulb customers.
  • In July of 2006, SOS launched to focus on the cleanroom products used by our traditional semiconductor clientele, medical facilities, educational institutions, pharmaceuticals manufacturers, hospital pharmacies and independent compounding pharmacies. SOS has been distributing to clean rooms since 1990, and is proud to have been designated as the ITW Texwipe Master Distributor for the South West Region of the United States.

SOS Future:

As a certified Woman-Owned Small Business, SOS is proving itself once again as a reliable source to government agencies and educational institutions. We have a State of Texas Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) certification and are certified by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (NCTRCA)and the Women's Business Council - Southwest (WBCS), which includes certification with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). We encourage anyone with a MWBE purchasing initiative or needing a WBE business partner to contact us to discuss how we can work together.

Through our commitment, experience, and expertise SOS has established business relationships with our customers that continue to benefit each other.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive for excellence every day.