Telling tales: George Stroke and the historiography of holography

Johnston, S.F. (2004) Telling tales: George Stroke and the historiography of holography. History and Technology, 20(1), pp. 29-51. (doi:10.1080/07341510410001674466)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The history of holography, the technology of three-dimensional imaging that grew rapidly during the 1960s, has been written primarily by its historical actors and, like many new inventions, its concepts and activities became surrounded by myths and myth-making. The first historical account was disseminated by the central character of this paper, George W. Stroke, while a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His claims embroiled several workers active in the field of holography and information processing during the 1960s, but transcended personality conflicts: they influenced the early historiography of holography and the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Physics to Dennis Gabor in 1971. An extended discussion of these episodes, based on archival research, publications analysis and interviews with participants, reveals the importance and extraordinary allure of intellectual priority for practicing scientists, and how its history and explanations are woven from multiple accounts and contemporary interpretations.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Professor Sean
Authors: Johnston, S.F.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:History and Technology
ISSN (Online):1477-2620

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
339051Holography, holographers, and their historySean JohnstonCarnegie UK Trust (CARNEGIE)UNSPECIFIEDInterdisciplinary Studies
339052Holography, holographers, and their historySean JohnstonBritish Academy (BRIT-ACAD)SG-34511Interdisciplinary Studies
339053Holography, holographers, and their historySean JohnstonShearwater Foundation (SHEARWATER)UNSPECIFIEDInterdisciplinary Studies