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This site  describes what's likely the world's largest collection of vintage lasers, related equipment and ephemera.  I started collecting old lasers when I stumbled upon one (the '62 Perkin-Elmer Spectra-Physics model 111) in the mid-'80s, but really started searching for them seriously in 2006 when I bought the '62 Hughes Aircraft model 200.  I built up the collection while researching that one, and in anticipation of exhibiting them during the 50th anniversary of the laser in 2010.  

The pictures below show a couple of bookcases where I keep many of these lasers.  There's also a bunch of books in them too, and those aren't to be forgotten in a collection like this.  All of the information about these old "cabinet grannies" comes from those old books.  

All photographs on this site are copyrighted.  Please do not share them for any reason.  I've also included links at the bottom of this page to a paper I wrote about commercial lasers and early holography, 
an article describing some of the lasers in my collection, a video I made showing the '62 Hughes 200 laser in operation, and 
some wonderful old films about lasers in general.  Enjoy!

Robert A. Hess
San Jose, California
February 25, 2013

Collection Documentation

"A Survey of Lasers at the Birth of Holography"

"A Blast from the Past: Highlights of a Vintage Laser Collection"

"A Blast From The Past with a 1962 Pulsed Ruby Laser"

Update:  May 8, 2013

I've moved myself and the collection to Mesa, Arizona.  Everything made it intact, except the clear Holex Laser Lite which rolled off the shelf and hit the carpeted floor.  Only damage was the detachment of two acrylic rods inside that held everything in place.  Should be an easy repair.

Update: October 19, 2013

I've finally got pictures of all the lasers and most of the related artifacts added to the collection since February.  I'll start adding holograms, holography related equipment, and laser light show ephemera throughout the rest of the year.

the lines below are at the same level.   Still learning it all.

Vintage Laser Videos

"The Conquest of Light", 1962.

"Principles of the Optical Maser", 1963.

"Lasers: Coherent Light Sources for Research & Industry", 1964.

"The Laser: A Light Fantastic", 1967.

"Lasers Unlimited", 1969.

"Laser Safety", c1969.

"Introduction to Holography", 1972.

Laser History and Applications

Update: September 1, 2014

The past ten months has seen the addition of many new old lasers to the collection, including a bunch from Mr. Ed Wesly of Chicago, Illinois.  The pictures below show them on display at my home in Mesa.