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Thread: 1967 Laser Focus Hologram

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Mesa, AZ

    Default 1967 Laser Focus Hologram

    A few years ago while going through old issues of Laser Focus magazine, I came across a letter to the editor showing a picture of the first mass produced hologram, made for insertion in the April 1967 issue. The letter to the editor in 1979 was from John Franke, who was happy to see it survived 12 years. A new book called "Holograms: A Cultural History" by Sean Johnston says "the holograms appear to have disappeared without a trace or wider impact" (page 113). I decided to look Mr. Franke up and via the white pages, I got his number. Guess what? He still had the hologram! I guess there is a trace. And, he had a couple others as well. Below are pics of two of the three he sent me.

    The hologram widely quoted in other histories of the industry as being the first mass produced is in the 1967 Science Year by World Book. That run of 500,000 in a widely circulated publication was made by Conductron, and it totally swamped the 9,000 made by Frank Denton's Photo-Technical Research (PTR, Inc. which became PTR Optics).

    The first shows the Laser Focus hologram in its torn-out insert mount. It's a top lit transmission hologram with the image up real close to the reference source, similar to the Conductron hologram in Science Year a few months later. It came with a green gel filter shown.

    The second nugget was a framed 4x5" hologram on film also made by PTR and sold by Edmund Scientific. It was framed by Mr. Franke for demonstrations. The image is of the same geometry, and shows four chess pieces in a diamond formation, on a black base. It's a project to make good pictures of these old holograms and especially their images, those will have to wait. The third hologram he sent me was a classic DCG skull by Rich Rallison.

    The two holograms by Frank Denton are a wonderful and important addition to this collection. I'm absolutely amazed Mr. Franke kept them all these years. He pulled the Laser Focus hologram out of the trash in '67 while working at Bell Labs. But maybe there are more out there. Who knows?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Eidetic; 06-26-2016 at 21:24.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    New Orleans


    Interesting reading. Thanks for sharing.
    Eric in New Orleans

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    you always find the most interesting thing Eidetic

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