Coherent Came a Long Way

After a battle, II-VI seems to have won over Coherent. The price tag is approximately $7B (USD). I was curious about early Coherent products. In a recent tweet, Coherent indicates that the “75W” laser shown in the 1966 ad actually made 15W for about a month, but it was demonstrated and delivered on time. The price in 1966 was <$10,000. We’re about to purchase another 60W CO2 laser at a 2021 cost of ~$7,000.

The “Kludge.” Coherent CO2 laser in a rain gutter, all in a laundry room, due to the available 220v outlet and water (1966).
Eugene Watson (5th from left) founded “Coherent Radiation Labs” with a small team of engineers & scientists in May 1966.

Here is an interesting recollection by Eugene Watson in Laser Focus World 2006: Coherent History

This set of charts is even better…Coherent’s first two years.

It must have been a fun time….