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SPIE: History of the Society

In 2005, SPIE celebrated 50 years of activity. For this occasion, a myriad of articles were written about the Society's formation, its early years of activity, and beyond into present day SPIE. Here are the collected articles written about the history of SPIE.

50 Years Retrospective Series

The first in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.

The second in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.

The third in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The fourth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The fifth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The sixth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The seventth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The eighth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The ninth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.
The tenth in a 10-part series of retrospectives chronicling the history of SPIE.

SPIE Timeline

Historical events by year, from 1955 to present.

Bites of History

A 'special guest' and high attendance are highlights of the First National Technical Symposium.
The SPIE conference model begins to take shape with a new form of technical program.
In 1968 Cousteau spoke at an SPIE seminar in depth: transcript included.
The SPIE Awards Program has a long and interesting history.

From its original newsletter to the digital age, SPIE has a long history of publications.

Women have been involved with SPIE from its beginning, now, however, in more equal ways.
From exhiboramas to seminars in depth to such giants as Photonics West, the way SPIE presents its events has evolved with the changing needs of the technical community.
This history of the Society's early years was put to paper by Robert L. Woltz for the SPIE Journal in 1967. Woltz, SPIE President 1958-59, was a founding member and instrumental to the beginnings of the Society.

Founders Profiles

Fellow Linc Endelman was an early member of SPIE and influential in the field of optical instrumentation.
Chuck DeMund helped early on to turn SPIE into the society it is today
Integral to SPIE's formation, Fellow John Kiel has worked for six decades to see the success of his company and SPIE.

King instrumental in early photo-optics

High-speed a way of life for early SPIE member Dick Freeborg
SPIE's first president
 
James Chadwick's Slip-Sync system has revolutionized the helicopter industry.
 
 
Bud Weisbrod piloted his career with planes and cameras.
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