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  About Holograms

Holography is the only visual recording and playback process that can record our three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional recording medium and playback the original object or scene, to the unaided eyes, as a three dimensional image. The image demonstrates complete parallax and depth-of-field. The image floats in space either behind, in front of, or straddling the recording medium.

Origin of Hologram
Modern holography dates from 1947, when Dennis Gabor, a scientist researching ways to improve the resolution of the electron microscope, develop what he called holography. Gabor theorized in 1947 that each crest of the wave pattern contains the whole information of its original source, and that this information could be stored on film and reproduced. This is why it is called a hologram. This was an amazing discovery given that Gabor did not have at his disposal modern laser light sources considered key to modern holography. Some twenty-three years later, in 1960, the modern laser was invented and serious work in holography began. In 1971 Dr. Dennis Gabor was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in holography.
It was two University of Michigan researchers who, in 1962, theorized that holography could be used as a three dimensional visual presentation. These individuals, Emmett Leigh and Juris Upatnieks, happened upon Gabor's work and decided to apply his theory with the newly invented laser light sources. The result was the first laser transmission hologram of 3-D objects. These transmission holograms produced images with clarity and realistic depth. Unfortunately, these transmission holograms required laser light to view the holographic image.
The work of Leigh and Upatnieks brought about today's modern holography equipment. The use of lasers, mirrors, splitters and lenses used in laboratories around the world for creating holographic images can be credited to their work. Leigh and Upatnieks also learned the importance of stability in the holography lab. Unlike modern photographic film which can be exposed for a fraction of a second, many holographic images take seconds or even minutes to expose to a photographic plate. During the exposure, even the slightest movement can destroy the exposure and require starting over again.
Like so many scientific advancements, holography was simultaneously being developed by other scientists. It was a Russian, Uri Denisyuk, who, in 1962, brought the work of Gabriel Lipmann (1908 Nobel Laureate) to holography and produced the first holograms that could be viewed in regular incandescent light.
Advancements in laser technology also served to broaden the possibilities of holography. The pulsed - ruby laser, developed by Dr. T. H. Maimam of the Hughes Aircraft Corporation in 1960, was such an advancement. The pulsed - ruby laser system emits a very powerful burst of light that lasts only a few billionths of a second. This allowed holographic plates to be exposed much more quickly. As a result one could now produce holograms of high-speed events, such as a bullet in flight, and of living subjects.

Perhaps the most important result of Stephen Benton's work was that it lead to the ability to mass produce holographic images using optical embossing techniques. Embossing allowed the images to be reproduced by a press that stamped the image into plastic surfaces. With costs very low as a result of the embossing techniques, the publishing, advertising, and banking industries, are now using embossed holograms. 

History of Hologram

1947 Hungarian scientist Denis Gabor invents holography (for which he is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1971); he made two-dimensional (flat image) holograms with a mercury arc lamp using exposures of many hours.
1958 Yuri Denisyuk invented volume holography, the process used to make white light reflection holograms. He also used mercury arc lamps as the light source. Prof Denisyuk was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1970 (roughly the Soviet equivalent of the Nobel Prize).
1960 Theodore H Maiman made the first device for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation – or laser, providing a more powerful source of the coherent, monochrome light required to produce holograms.
1958-1962 Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks gradually invent the off-axis reference beam technique, using a laser very soon after its invention to make the first laser transmission hologram in 1962.
1968 Stephen Benton invents white light transmission, or rainbow holograms a technique that means transmission holograms can be seen in ordinary light.
1976 The Museum of Holography was founded in New York as an international center for the understanding and advancement of holography.
Late 1970s Mike Foster makes the first mechanically produced hologram, converting the interference lines of a rainbow hologram into a surface relief pattern.
1979 Steve McGrew, working with the Diffraction Company, develops an embossing mass production technique for surface relief holograms.

McGrew also invents 2D3D holograms to create layering of flat images, making embossed holograms easier to

see in ambient light.


MasterCard adds a hologram to its payment cards to combat fraud. The following year Visa follows suit.


Hershey Corp uses a licensed image of ET® on 2D3D hologram stickers as a promotion for its chocolate

confectionary, Reese’s Pieces, the first major brand to use a hologram for promotion


The March issue of National Geographic features a hologram on the front cover. 11 million were produced.


Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky is the first major brand to use a hologram to combat product counterfeiting 


Glaxo becomes the first pharmaceutical company to use holograms for brand protection, on Zantac  which was

then the world’s best-selling drug brand.


Dupont launches its holographic photopolymer for production of white light reflection, or volume, holograms.

1989 Holograms first appear on banknotes (the Austrian 500 schilling).
1991   Digital holography makes it debut in the form of dot matrix holograms. 
1994 SmithKline Beecham launches Aquafresh® Whitening toothpaste in the USA in a carton covered in holographic laminate, the first time holographic packaging has been used for branding.
1995 Iraq is the first country to use a hologram on its standard passport
2001 Global sales of holograms reach $1.09 billion 
2002 The Euro banknotes go into circulation with a hologram on all seven denominations.
2003 Stephen Benton, inventor of rainbow holograms, dies
2005 Emmett Leith, inventor of off-axis laser transmission holograms, dies 


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