1947 | 1958 | 1960 | 1958-1962 | 1968 | 1976 | Late 1970's | 1979 | 1982 | 1984 | 1988 | 1989 | 1991 | 1994 | 1995 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2005


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 undertstanding 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.

1982 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.

1984 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.

1988 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 USS om a carton covered in a 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.