We have just heard that Norman Edmund, the founder of the famous Edmund Scientific, passed away on January 16th.
Norman Edmund started a company by selling surplus lenses during WW2. When he couldn’t get a lens for his camera he purchased 10 in a bulk surplus order. Since he now had 9 lenses he did not need he placed a small ad and sold them all quickly. He repeated this with another batch of lenses and soon a business was born. At first it was known as the Edmund Salvage Company, but later on as Norman’s interest in science education made its way into the catalog (at first with products built using more surplus lenses) the company became known as Edmund Scientific. It soon had a catalog that was famous in science circles. Norman would run Edmund Scientific until the 70’s when health issues led him to turn over the reigns to his son, Robert Edmund. Soon after, Edmund Scientific split into two divisions – the ‘Scientifics’ division and the Industrial Optics Division. The former was sold to science supply company VWR in 2001, while the latter continues to exist in Barrington, NJ.
Edmund Scientific was a great inspiration to Spectrum Scientifics. Without it this store and website would have never come into being. It is our hope that we follow the legacy of Norman Edmund’s scientific company (a little less so of what VWR made it into). That is our dream. We think we have done a pretty good job, and many folks who remember the Edmund Scientific store in Barrington, NJ remark that our store reminds them of it.
For more information. Please visit Edmund Optics press release.