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Laser Eraser

Maker:
Schawlow, Arthur L.
Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
rubber (cords material)
glass (tube material)
Measurements:
case: 19.5 cm x 23.2 cm x 36.2 cm; 7 11/16 in x 9 1/8 in x 14 1/4 in
eraser: 4.3 cm x 5.7 cm x 25.7 cm; 1 11/16 in x 2 1/4 in x 10 1/8 in
power supply: 9 cm x 16 cm x 25.3 cm; 3 9/16 in x 6 5/16 in x 9 15/16 in
Object Name:
laser eraser
eraser
Date made:
1968
Subject:
Energy & Power
Invention
Science & Mathematics
Business
Lasers
Credit Line:
from Arthur L. Schawlow
ID Number:
1985.0144.01
Accession number:
1985.0144
Catalog number:
1985.0144.01
Description:
This laser eraser was made and used by physicist Art Schawlow of Bell Labs. If he made a mistake while typing, Schawlaw could simply press a button and vaporize the typewriter ink thus removing the incorrect characters. The wavelength of the laser was optimized for the absorption characteristics of the ink. Only the ink, not the paper, went up in smoke. Though the eraser was too expensive for commercial production, Schawlow received US Patent 3,553,421 for the invention and used the eraser on his office typewriter.
The object includes a power supply to convert alternating current of 120 volts to 900 volt direct current pulses, the laser emitter, a connecting cable and carrying case.
Location:
Currently not on view
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Lasers
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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  • Erasers
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  • Business
  • Energy & Power
  • Inventions
  • Lasers
  • Science & Mathematics
  • Schawlow, Arthur L.
  • 1960s
  • National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center