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 WELCOME




 
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 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 the six converted gun cabinets and dozen shelves where I keep these old lasers.  There's also a bunch of books in there 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.  


Robert A. Hess
Mesa, Arizona
14 January, 2018


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.

Update:  November 17, 2017

Finally got around to adding the holography and pre-laser pointers.  Holograms from the '60s and '70s are first, then those made since 1980 listed by producer (as best as I can remember or determine), holograms made at home, and finally the pointers. 















the lines below are at the same level.   Still learning it all.
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I've arranged my collection of holograms made by (and for) other people alphabetically by the name of the producer, artist, or client.  Holograms from the 1960s and '70s were all made by producers who didn't make it into the '80s, so I put them on their own page.  

My own holography is credited to Point Source Productions, and is spread throughout the alphabetical pages because I didn't make any holograms before the '80s.  Home Holography describes some artwork and independent experiments.

Collecting lasers lead to laser pointers.  A desire to write about the development of laser pointers lead to collecting pre-laser flashlight pointers, and a variety of pointer sticks that go back to the 1890s.

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!


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.

 
Update: January 14, 2018

I added new pictures of the cabinets and shelves scattered around the house where all of the lasers roost.