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'60s Laser Experiences?

  1. Dec 10, 2009 #1
    I'm interested in hearing stories about the very early days of lasers. This is easily one of the top few inventions of the last century, and it's turning 50 next year. I'm particularly interested in the first half of the decade, from handbuilt instruments in labs to on-the-shelf product in many colors and for many applications.

    Please contact me, or share your story here about your experiences with lasers from those years. I'm also looking for old lasers of that vintage. Particularly lasers made by Hughes Aircraft Company, Raytheon, Trion, Lear Siegler, Maser Optics, Optics Technology, American Optical, Perkin Elmer, or Spectra-Physics. Also the old gravity bases and Ealing triangular rail carriers and components from the time before metal optical tables.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2009 #2
    It's funny you mention this. A friend and I were discussing a CO2 pulsed laser that Ti developed for early range finding. It was a crude monster - used an EG&G triggered spark gap as the switch, and ate pulse capacitors for lunch. He was telling me how the crew like to put styrofoam cups in front of it and let it pop little holes.
  4. Dec 11, 2009 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF. Fun subject. Are you an author? Or maybe a collector?
  5. Dec 11, 2009 #4
    I'm putting together a display to honour the laser, for its 50th birthday. I'd like to include as many of the very earliest lasers I can find. A few articles will come out of it eventually, and then I'll be looking for a permanent home for those I gather together (and their related ephemera).

    I should've mentioned that I'm also looking for old magazines, books or marketing materials about lasers, also from the '60s.

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