Edmund Optics founder Norman Edmund dies
The founder of Edmund Optics, Norman Wilson Edmund, has died. Norman Edmund was the creator and entrepreneurial spirit behind Edmund Scientific, which later evolved into Edmund Optics.
He is credited with inspiring multiple generations of young talent to become interested in science and engineering through his thought-provoking catalogue of optics, scientific experiments, and learning tools. He was known to read as many as 200 periodicals per month in search of clever ideas, new products, and innovative applications for his unique lenses.
At the age of 25 he began cultivating an interest in optics and in 1942, during WWII, he started a mail order business, known as Edmund Salvage Corporation, selling kits of lenses. He added prisms, war surplus optical items, telescopes and scientific items, many of which he sourced from the Franklin Arsenal in Philadelphia. Before long, thousands of experimentally inclined individuals and major research labs and universities were buying from his newly expanded optics company, Edmund Scientific, Inc.
During the 1970s Edmund focused his company away from surplus optics and into the manufacture and distribution of commercial quality optics and components. In 1975, Norman retired, passing the leadership to his son, Robert Edmund, the current CEO of Edmund Optics, Inc.
Norman Edmund leaves behind two children, Robert Edmund and Joan Husted, as well as six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He is remembered by all for his generosity, love of science, and curious mind.