Freund Brothers, established in 1898, is one of the oldest continually operated, family-owned optical shops in the United States.
When Henry and Adam Freund were growing up in Philadelphia in the 1870’s, they heard plenty of discussion around the dinner table about the optical profession. Their mother’s family was in the optical profession for several generations, first in Bavaria, and then in Philadelphia.
After apprenticing and working in Philadelphia for 12 years, Henry, with his brother Adam, moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey and established Freund Brothers at Maryland Avenue and the Boardwalk in 1898. In addition to eyewear, Freund Brothers sold Kodak cameras and developed film - at the time a technical and difficult undertaking. They also established a lending library in part of the store, which addressed their personal interest in literature and provided a nice benefit to the community. In 1921, they moved the store to 1006 Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, where they stayed for the next 28 years.
In the 1930’s, Henry’s two children, William and Edna, took over the business. In the 1940’s, eyewear, contact lenses, and artificial eyes became the mainstay of the business. In 1949, Edna and William moved the business to 1514 Pacific Avenue.
In 1963, William’s son, Hank, took an active position in the business. In 1975, he and Edna relocated the business to Central Square, in Linwood, NJ, where it is still located today. In 1976, Hank became the sole proprietor and remains so today.
The optical industry has changed an immense amount in the past hundred years. Freund Brothers, however, still offers premium eyewear and ocular prosthetics, coupled with an exceptional and unequaled focus on each customer who comes in the door.
Feel free to stop by our shop to see photographs and items from Freund Brothers’ and Atlantic City’s history that we’ve collected over the years.