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N.W. Edmund, Founder of Iconic South Jersey ‘Scientifics’ Firm, Dead at 95

(Photo provided by Edmund Optics Inc.)

(Photo provided by Edmund Optics Inc.)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

BARRINGTON, N.J. (CBS) — A South Jersey businessman who demystified science for many of us is gone.

Norman W. Edmund, the founder of Edmund Scientific Co., in Barrington, is dead at the age of 95.

For decades, the Edmund Scientific Co. store in Barrington, NJ was the place where the curious went to browse the science-oriented toys, to look through a World War II periscope, and to marvel at the selection of optical lenses and telescopes.

Its mail-order catalogue served — among others — experimenters, hobbyists, and parents looking for educational toys for their kids.

Company founder Norman Edmund died Tuesday.  His granddaughter, Marisa Ann Edmund, says even though the retail store closed a dozen years ago, his influence lives on.

“He absolutely inspired generations of young scientists,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “And we can point to several astronauts and different famous people that came to the store to see the telescopes, to play with the periscope, and to be a part of the laser light show.”

Edmund Optics Inc. continues as an online business.

Marisa Ann Edmund, the company’s executive vice president for marketing and communications, says her grandfather was a pillar in the community.

“He did put Barrington on the map with the retail store, and bringing a lot of tourists and people to the area.  He also was incredibly active with the local business culture and with the church, and funded a lot of the school activities.”

A private memorial is planned in the spring.

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