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HologramsA Cultural History$
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Sean F. Johnston

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712763

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712763.001.0001

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Consuming Holograms

Consuming Holograms

(p.165) 10 Consuming Holograms

Sean F. Johnston

Oxford University Press

While audiences evolved, organizations were trying to turn holograms into a business. Entrepreneurs and customers alike were captivated by holograms, but companies sought to develop new and competitive products that exploited innovation. Research companies, lubricated by government contracts, had been the first to investigate a commercial market for holograms from the late 1960s. Companies such as Conductron Corporation, IBM, Bell Telephone and CBS Laboratories had sought to stay at the front of the pack through basic research, setting ambitious goals and predicting products to come. They were confident that this would allow them to ‘invent the future’. Consumers flirted with adopting holograms as art, decoration, magazine illustrations and portraiture. As with the earlier visual technologies of Victorian optical toys, stereoscopes and 3-D cinema, children became a more reliable audience. But a mere twenty-five years after their revelation to the public, holograms were most commonly used as optical anti-counterfeiting devices.

Keywords:   cottage industry, markets, consumerism, decorative art, publishing, hologram portraits, optical toys, counterfeiting

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