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Dear friends and colleagues,
It is with great pride that I announce the celebration of our 75th anniversary. I am honored to share with you highlights from our history as well as new, innovative products and manufacturing services. Below you will see an interesting timeline of events, along with photos dating back to our first days in southern New Jersey to our many global expansions.
I’ve also featured a picture of EO’s refurbished Dodge Panel Truck. When I was just a boy in the 1950s, my father, Norman Edmund, had a similar truck that enabled us to quickly deliver products to our customers and to manage our inventory since our distribution center was composed of small garages throughout the neighborhood.
I want to personally thank you for your business and am looking forward to what the future holds.
Robert M. Edmund CEO and Chairman
1942 — After opening Edmund Salvage in Collingswood, NJ to sell surplus optics to his fellow optics enthusiasts, Norman Edmund puts a $9 ad in Popular Photography magazine to sell a "chipped edge lenses" kit for $1.50 (15 lens kit)
1948 — Edmund Scientific moves from Collingswood, NJ to its current location in Barrington, NJ with a store front, which becomes a big success!
1958 — A nationwide focus on space exploration leads Norman to offer physics, astronomy, and earth science products in the Edmund catalog. Telescopes and similar components would remain a focus of the catalog for decades.
1962 — Going to the World’s Fair? - Edmund exhibits at the World’s Fair held in Seattle, WA. The display includes panel diffraction gratings, twinkle lights, revolving grating wheels, rainbow design gratings, and tons of other products.
1969 — To the Moon and Back Again - Jack Thompson of Westinghouse Aerospace purchases a 95¢ Barlow lens from Edmund Optics to be used on the Westinghouse color camera brought on Apollo 11 for coverage of the lunar landing.
1970 — A second generation begins at Edmund Scientific. Robert Edmund, current CEO, joins the Edmund Scientific team.
1976 — Edmund Scientific develops a 4¼" f/4 Newtonian Wide Field Reflector Telescope. Customers submit entries to name the new telescope. Grand prize is 2 of these new telescopes, “one for you, and one for the school or planetarium of your choice.” The original name was Astroscan 2001, a nod to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
1984 — Robert splits Edmund Scientific into two divisions: Edmund Scientific and Edmund Industrial Optics. Edmund Scientific concentrates on educational and hobby applications, while Edmund Industrial Optics on precision components for industrial applications.
1992 — Optics in Operation Desert Storm- To aid military forces fighting in the Middle East during Operation: Desert Storm, Edmund provides optical components for targeting systems.
1995 — Edmund Optics expands globally with the first global office in Tokyo, Japan (1995), followed by the Tucson, AZ Design Center (1998), UK sales office and warehouse (1999), Karlsruhe, Germany sales office (2000), sales and manufacturing facility in Singapore (2000), clean room manufacturing facility and sales office in Shenzhen, China (2005), sales office in France (2005) and in Seoul, South Korea (2006), manufacturing facility in Akita, Japan (2008), sales office in Taichung City, Taiwan (2010), Silicon Valley, CA (2016) and R & D Tucson, AZ (2016).
1996 — Edmund makes it into American pop culture history. Bart Simpson, in the episode titled “Two Bad Neighbors” (1/14/96), brings a box of locusts from Edmund Scientific to his new next-door neighbor.
1998 — A third generation begins at Edmund Optics - Marisa Edmund, current EVP of Marketing & Sales, joins Edmund Optics.
1999 — The Introduction of Telecentric Lenses - Edmund Optics begins manufacturing custom multi-element lenses. With the addition of new manufacturing equipment EO paves the way for imaging optics.
2000 — Edmund Optics acquires Plummer Precision (2000) and Saito Optics (2004). EO is able to manufacture high precision spherical components, optical prisms, and high quality optical coatings, all with optical quality ensured by state-of-the-art optical testing.
2004 — With a focus on advancing Edmund Optics' manufacturing capabilities, EO adds magneto-rheological finishing (MRF) and aspheric manufacturing to its growing toolbox. From Design to Prototype to Volume Production, EO can provide λ/20 accuracy optical flats, spherical optics, and high precision, spherical aberration corrected aspheres.
2010 — To offer additional service options to customers, EO unveils Live Chat support in the Americas. Customers can now use phone, email, and live chat to contact the office. Live Chat continues to expand in Europe in 2011 and Asia in 2012.
2010 — Free Optics for Education- To support research in undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at non-profit colleges and universities, EO announces a global Grant Program. Each year, outstanding “Optics Superheroes” compete for 1 of 3 monetary prizes in each region.
2016 — EO moves its Tucson, AZ location to a larger facility and adds optical and optomechanical research & development capabilities, along with expanding customer support, sales, applications engineering, and custom design services.
2016 — EO is continually adding thousands of new products each year from optics to optomechanics to imaging. With over 28,900 optical components available, EO is prepared to help its customers in each step of their application projects.
2016 — The innovative Cx Series Lenses with user-adjustable mid-section offer maximum flexibility through interchangeable accessories including filters, apertures, and liquid lenses. Their modular lenses were the silver winner for the Vision System Design Innovators Award.
The future of optics in Life Sciences is critical to the wellbeing of all living things. Major advancements in biomedical optics and light, technologies around flow cytometry, cell sorting, microscopy, ophthalmology, and laser systems, to name a few, continue to advance all aspects of life. At Edmund Optics® we continuously research and investigate new materials, systems, technologies, and processes to improve those aspects with the hope that a new treatment or diagnostic technique can help the population faster, cheaper, and less invasively than ever before.
Technology developments have progressed applications and innovations that were once thought not possible, and turned them into a plausible reality. Over the last few years, higher performance imaging and rapid sensor technology developments have greatly impacted our lives through advancements in medical testing, autonomous vehicles, and virtual reality. But technology limitations still exist that continue to prevent applications from reaching their maximum potential. The Imaging industry is an ever-evolving field that will continue to refine and develop products, expanding the possibilities for new and improved systems and devices, but the imaging community will need to come together to create solution spaces for the market in order to overcome ongoing technological limitations.
Optics is a true enabling technology, empowering applications in advanced manufacturing, communications and storage, defense, display technologies, energy, health and medicine, and test and measurement. From such a diverse set of industries and applications comes an equally diverse set of requirements and challenges. The common thread among those requirements, however, is the capabilities and precision that enabled yesterday’s optical devices won’t be those that enable tomorrow’s. Rapid customization will replace standardization. Deterministic processes will replace manual craftsmanship. And through it all, the Edmund Optics catalog will be there, as it has for the past 75 years.