Edmund Scientific Factory Store

Edmund Scientific Factory Store
Norman Edmund

You may remember going to Edmund Scientific in Barrington for parts for a science fair project or maybe to peer through their huge periscope. For whatever reason, Edmund Scientific was a very interesting place that sadly isn’t there anymore.

Norman Edmund opened his surplus optics store during World War II. He sold obsolete military lenses and other scientific gadgets. Edmund Scientific  would become known nationwide from their ads in magazines like Scientific America and from their own mail order catalog. Edmund Scientific would go on to become a staple of the community and place beloved by both young and old.

Here are a few Facebook comments from those who experienced this place first hand:

inside edmund scientific
Inside Edmund Scientific Factory Store during the 1950s

Jack Jennings Worked for Norman Edmund for several years. Started as a tech writer and ended as Director of engineering. It was a fun job with lots of good people to work with. When we were building the Light Show Theater our crew put in nights and weekends to finish it on time. Lots of good stories and fond memories.

Betty Dean Parks I worked there for 10 years for Norman and Robert and Gwen ! Miss those days!

Julie Wagner I work there now but it’s called Edmund Optics and we don’t sell the same stuff (Optics for industry nothing consumers would want). No store, but still family owned by the Edmunds.

Brian Burton Used to love looking through the periscope when you walked in the front door!

Edmund Scientific surplus room
Edmund Scientific surplus room

MaryAnn Bruno De Marco My Dad took us there & he loved the surplus room. Loved the periscope. My Dad always found something interesting there. I worked there & I also took my kids there. I met some of the best people I ever worked with & still keep in touch with (FB).

Jack Jennings Mr. Edmund had purchased the periscope at a government sales many years ago and when it was decided to add the new store and warehouse we all agreed that it would be an interesting attraction. Thanks to Jules Wilmer, machinist extraordinary, with help from our production employees, the periscope was dissembled, the optics cleaned and repairs made, making it again useable. Then all it took was designing a mounting before Mr. Hand, our building contractor could bring in the crane to gently lower it in place. Not an easy project, but a very memorable one. Our store Manager was Bill Shonleber.

Japanese periscope
Free, see the countryside thru our Japanese Sub Periscope

Lori Ann Scott My dad, God rest his soul, loved that place. His love of all things astronomical kept him going there. He helped build an observatory in Willingboro and made his own telescopes from scratch, even down to grinding his own lenses for them. He knew the constellations like the back of his hand. I miss him.

Denise L Lewis I used to go there with my PopPop and poke around for hours. He bought me a microscope there and all kinds of cool stuff. I still have a geology specimen collection we got there. Then there’s the teenage years of going to the laser show with friends.

Margaret Mcewan It was like a day trip, free fun place to go!!! Loved it there

Janice Judge Jeff went there for camp. We were always there. It was amazing place

Jack Jennings An article published in the Courier-Post on Thursday, August 23, 2001 by Mike Daniels and titled “Up periscope: Big J center to get Barrington landmark” stated, “The periscope, once used on a Japanese World War II submarine, is being donated to the battleship USS New Jersey museum. There, on the Camden Waterfront, it will stand in the visitors center and offer views of the battleship and nearby Philadelphia.”

Jimi Fritz Loved the “Light Shows”…

The former final location of the periscope in the entrance way to Edmund Scientific.

Marianne Steward Brumbach I worked there and met my husband there 42 years ago.

Timothy DeLuca It was a great place to go had some of the weirdest stuff and it all worked

William W. Cathcart I lived in Pittsburgh during science fair days, so we did mail order – used to read their catalog over and over ……

Ralph Murri We went there often, especially for class science projects…

Jack Jennings The light show Theater was the most difficult design project I ever did and building it the hardest to manage. A lot of it had never been done before.

David Hay The BEST field trip ever

Jack Jennings The mirrors illustrated how one person could become an infinite “company front”. The were made of aluminizes Mylar (like the ECHO satellite) stretched over precisely engineered an constructed frames.

Lisa Monteith Daly Loved that place. I bought a 6″ reflector telescope in 1969 with my confirmation money, LOL!

3 Comments on Edmund Scientific Factory Store

  1. Yes, I have Fond memories of the Edmund Scientific Company. Growing up in Miami, Florida, in my early teens I ordered from its catalog in the mid to late 1950s, a white, 3-inch reflecting telescope with several lenses for $29.95, “FOB Barrington, NJ.” I seem to remember that the trim size of the catalog was 5.5″ x 8.5″, staple bound, with quite a number of pages. It was fascinating! I read it cover to cover dozens of times, mesmerized, before I finally ordered. It gave me much pleasure observing the moon, Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its rings, and Venus, as well as the brighter stars in the constellations.

  2. I remember going to a Star Party there. My boyfriend at the time bought me a reflecting telescope that I still have.

  3. My brother & I have dealt with your company off and on since I was 14 years old. I am now 69 years old. Bought rockets; drinking birds; prism; Crook’s Radiometer and many other novelty items. Do you still sell these kinds of things?

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