In 1942, Norman Edmund searched diligently through mail-order advertisements to find a specific lens required to feed his hobby. He was an amateur photographer, and it was difficult to find optics to support this pastime. What he learned from that experience prompted him to place his own ads, offering specialty lenses in a photography magazine. Almost immediately, other hobbyists looking for “hard to find” optics starting sending in orders and the Edmund Salvage Company was born.

Business boomed in the years following World War II. The military provided an endless source for quality, surplus optics. The breath of product and ample inventory of specialty optical items were highly sought-after by science enthusiasts. To advertise new items, Norman started mailing a monthly newsletter to his customers – the foundation for the Edmund Scientifics catalog.

The coming of the space age saw an Edmund Scientifics lens go to the moon as a critical component in the first color TV camera to record the Apollo landings. In response to customer inquiries for an affordable compact telescope, Edmund Scientifics developed the Astroscan® Telescope, winner of the 1976 Industrial Design Award. More than 30 years later, the Astroscan® endures as a living, working legend in the astronomical community.

For over 50 years, Edmund Scientifics experienced continued success at its Barrington, New Jersey location. A small optics company had grown into THE source for unusual science activities, toys, gifts, and demonstrations. Science hobbyists and engineering enthusiasts around the world know that Scientifics is the place to feed their ideas and inventions.

Edmund Optics refocused on industrial optics. The company has become well known as a manufacturer and distributor of industrial optics and related products, as well as a source for much more – including application integration, custom lens and coating design, and OEM services.

Today, Scientifics Direct, Inc. proudly operates as an independent business. Through our catalog and website, Scientifics Direct, Inc. continues to provide the latest and most unique science related items available. We love science just as much as our customers.


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