Frank "Pop Pop" DeFreitas and the Princess of Dutch Wonderland in 2015.
"And suddenly, I am more wrinkled than my shirts..." -- Frank DeFreitas
My name is Frank DeFreitas. For over thirty years, I have provided laser and hologram presentations, workshops and outreach programs to the highest level of science and technology companies, institutions and educational venues (see below). I am now officially "semi" retired, which means retired ... but I am still active "here and there" with presentations, speaking engagements, and welcoming guests from around the world to my home holography studio and historical archives in Allentown, PA, USA.
Since 1983, my past clients include: The Smithsonian Institution, Wash. D.C. (The Hirshhorn Museum & Ripley Education Center): Presentations (Hirshhorn) Yearly Summer Workshop Programs (Ripley; last in 2015); The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA: Laser and Holography Workshop Programs; Stevens Institute of Technology: Presentations; Liberty Science Center, NJ: Workshop Programs; The Discovery Center of Science and Technology, PA: Workshop Programs; CAVS: Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT: Guest presentation on Holography, Summer Program; Lehigh University Physics Dept.: Summer Workshop Programs; University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology: Revolutionary War Solider Holography Project; MENSA: Conference Keynote Speaker; California Institute of Technology (CalTech/JPL): Diode Laser Driver; The Creation Evidence Museum of Texas; Workshops and Presentations; Northampton Community College: Workshops and Presentation; Lehigh-Carbon Community College: Workshops and Presentation; Allentown Art Museum: Holograms for Max Hess Gallery; Rodale Press, Inc.: Holograms for Robert Rodale, Book Convention and Lobby; WFMZ TV 69: Logo Hologram for Lobby; NASA / Northrop Grumman: Hologram of Space Station Freedom; Georgian Court University Physics Dept.: Workshops and Presentations; AT&T; Lucent Technologies: Holograms for Awards Ceremony; U.S. Navy Subcontractor: Drone LIDAR RGB Holographic Imaging (prototyping); Fuji Film Corp.: Workshops and Presentations for Key Employees; Dupont (Wilmington, DE): Workshop and Orientation for Holographic Materials Support Personnel; The Urban Systemic Initiative (NSF): Multi-Year Educational Programs; along with many elementary, middle and high school programs over 30+ years. National Science Foundation-funded programs; scouts; home school groups; corporate events; birthday parties; and teaching the very first online class for holography through America On Line in 1995.
I am an elected member of Sigma-Pi-Sigma; the National Physics Honor Society; American Institute of Physics; for my work in laser and holography educational programs.
With my early computer / analog hybrid, two-color animated laser hologram, 1985.
Celestial Navigator Star Tracking Device.
I was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1956. Fortunately, living in the Philadelphia / South Jersey region placed me in a prime location for the earliest days of lasers and holography (Edmund Scientific; Franklin Institute; Metrologic Laser; Holex Corp.; more). I saw my first laser hologram in 1968, attended my first holography exhibit in 1976, designed and built my own laser and holography studio in 1983, and started my world-famous HoloWorld web site in 1995. I began as a kid, and after an entire lifetime there is plenty more to say. But for now I'll just say that sooner or later in your own journey in holography, no matter where you are in the world, you will eventually come across "Frank DeFreitas".
Presenting lasers and holography at a school in 1983.
In 2016, I am 60 years old and I have been married for 39 years (and together for 41 years). My wife and I have 3 grown daughters, all involved in science and medicine. I have had my private studio, archives and display room in my downtown historic Allentown, PA home for 34 years. People travel from around the world to visit, to learn, or to just say hello (please call first: 610-434-8236). As we enter our twilight years, my wife has now joined me in the lab, as we collaborate and produce our own hologram special projects. Our most recent project (2015-16) focuses primarily on ancient Biblical artifacts that document the events recorded in the Holy Bible.
Now in my fourth decade in holography, that time has been divided into 15 years part-time and 15+ years full time. I was both a hologram producer and a holography instructor. My history is with traveling outreach: I would take my laser and holography educational programs on the road. Back then, one would find many outreach persons traveling from one area of the country to another, visiting schools, galleries, museums and festivals. I've presented to hundreds of thousands of people during this time. I could be in a university laser research laboratory one day, under an outdoor festival tent the next, and appearing at a kids birthday party on another. My smallest event was three people, my largest event was seventy thousand. As the saying goes, I've been "around the block" with lasers and holography in my lifetime.
(Photo Above): My public laser & holography program in 1996 at Lehigh University's SMART Discovery Center. I had dedicated areas for laser and hologram demonstrations (including student-created laser light shows), as well as a beautiful gallery of ever-changing exhibits of holograms from around the world. I also provided LIVE web cam and audio broadcasts (see inset). These B&W photos were taken with the Kodak D20 digital camera.
My "best days" were the 1980's and 1990's. It was very different back then for us old timers. Back then, you *had* to exhibit your work and have people come out to see it in person. Today, everything is 2D digital photos on the internet: make the hologram in the lab and then put a photo of it up on a web page. Of course, today everybody is calling everything 3D a "hologram". I miss the actual public events that people would come out and see in person. I also miss the interaction. But, hey, its a free country and if a lot of people accept holography through photos and social media interaction on a screen that is their business, and if they like it, that's fine with me ... although even in 2017 the very best way to see a hologram is still in person.
As a side note, I am one of the very few people on Earth to have their name on the surface of another heavenly body: Titan, the great moon of Saturn (Cassini / Huygens mission). My entry reads "My name is Frank DeFreitas and I create three-dimensional laser holograms on Earth". This info is contained on a CDROM in a sealed chamber inside the space craft lander, which landed safely and is sitting on the surface of Titan to be recovered some day in the future.
In my Allentown holography lab, 1983.
Although I am not in possession of a Ph.D., I have helped several Ph.D.'s out of a laser / holography "tight spot" over the years. Fact is, I have a technical education. My background is in printing technologies, and I am a graduate of the now defunct Philadelphia School of Printing and Advertising (typography, typesetting and graphic design / prepress). This was the era where light based technologies were taking over the printing industry (anyone remember the Compugraphic 7500 or the laser-based Linotronic 300?). Never underestimate the power of print, whether on paper or online. Print is the most influential and powerful human-created force in the world, and it is where I have always wanted to be. Not surprisingly, it is where I am. I consider holography to be a future form of communication technology ... a high-tech, futuristic extension.
I have designed and built my own lasers, optical equipment, and have formulated my own processing chemistry and production methods. My work is truly, and literally, my own.
The first hologram I ever sold, a multi-color reflection hologram, was purchased by Gary Zellerbach of Holos Gallery, located in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco (1792 Haight Street). Long ago and far away.
I currently oversee and maintain a 20,000 piece history of holography archives, which I began in 1976 and call "Antiquarian Holographica". I highly respect the developmental years of lasers and holography, and I am an advocate for keeping the early practices, equipment, techniques and print media (ephemera) as part of its living history. The 20,000+ piece Antiquarian Holographica collection consists of lasers, stereoscopes and views, cameras and projectors, holograms, optics, laboratory equipment, lenticulars, posters, books, advertising, exhibit catalogs, postcards, brochures, newsletters, patents, documents, prototypes, letters, business cards, magazines, press releases, invitations, newspaper articles, production files, announcements, letterheads, industrial catalogs, envelopes, contracts, postage stamps, autographs, and many other examples documenting the history of 3D and holography.
I continue to practice what could be considered "classical" holography: fine tuning the techniques used during holography's early decades of the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. Gas tube lasers (sometimes diode). Gelatin silver emulsions (sometimes photopolymer). Darkroom chemistry. I do not make it a practice of moving on to the "next big thing" each time something else comes along ... which, in practice, only leads to scratching the surface over and over. Instead, I continue to hone my skills to a greater depth of practice and understanding, with classical methodologies refined (and sometimes, redefined).
Although lasers and holography can be distilled to their most basic form as science (primarily physics), this physical sciences reference is of no more value than that of the very early printing press or linotype (both of which would fall under the heading of mechanical physics). Neither the printing press nor the linotype machine would be an initial thought if one would think physics / science of today. Likewise, the optical mathematics of a simple camera system would fill a volume, yet many take breathtaking photographs whether comprehending the formulae, or not at all. The same will hold true for lasers and holography as time moves on. Both will one day be thought of strictly (and simply) as tools to get the job done: lasers to make the holograms, and holograms to provide the images. I know this because I am already there where others will one day follow. I was not professionally trained as a scientist. Nor was I professionally trained as an artist. I make holograms, therefore I am a holographer.
1980's video by now President of ABC Television Stations Group Rebecca Campbell.
(Above Photo Montage): Rebecca Campbell, President of ABC Television Stations Group in NYC, got her start here in Allentown (she was Rebecca Funk at WFMZ TV 69 back then). At the beginning of her career, one of the first stories she produced was showcasing my work with lasers and holograms for a local TV "magazine" called Cover to Cover. I introduced her to the larger holography sphere at the time, and we traveled in to NYC with a crew to interview then director of the New York Museum of Holography, Posy Jackson, and holographic artist Dan Schweitzer. I also suggested the background music in the video (Brian Eno, Apollo, which she used in her televised production). Little did anyone know at the time (including me) that she would become one of the most powerful media executives in the world today. She was great to work with from what I remember from 30+ years ago.
Today: My Christian-based Work and the Holy Bible
In 2010, I gave repentance before God for my life as a sinner. I turned my life over to, and had my life renewed by, the blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Don't misunderstand ... I am still a sinner, we all are, and we will have to give account of our entire lives before God. That doesn't change. However, due to God's Grace and Mercy through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary, I will not experience eternal separation from him in the fires of Hell.
Perhaps most importantly, my decision and subsequent regeneration was due to my searching for, opening my mind to and finding, the light of Truth. And I have found that the Truth is in Jesus Christ alone.
Shortly thereafter (2012), while in prayer and asking to serve ("Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8 KJV), I was given a vision and calling. Utilizing my life-long, God-given talents with lasers and holography, I am called to research laser and holographic communication technology for the future of Christianity and the Holy Bible ... not only on earth, but also for humanity's future in space.
The objectives for my Christian based laser and holography work are four fold: (1) to help reach those persons in areas of the world where more traditional evangelistic methods are dangerous, even life threatening (stealth laser technology); (2) to research archival / preservation recording methods for Scripture and historical artifacts (3D laser holograms); (3) to one day communicate the Gospel to, from, and between human colonies on the Moon, Mars and beyond (free space laser communication); (4) to prepare youth for future evangelism, utilizing (and further developing) these new technologies. Even if all I do is provide the catalyst for further development by someone else, it is my honor to be in His service and to do so.
After 60 years of my life, with accumulated learning and much human experience, I can say that within the last decade I have emerged as an "old school conservative, biblical inerrancy literalist ... opposed to communism / modernism / relativism; and a steadfast and tireless 'Victory in Christ' activist".
Today in 2016, after a lifetime in holography as the real life "Holo-Man".
Photo credit: Dr. Carl Baugh.
My own personal philosophy / quote is this: "Science is the study of the physical manifestations of God in action". I am a young-earth creationist. I believe in creation exactly as it is documented in the first book of Moses / Genesis. I believe in a literal, six-day creation by God that took place 6,000 years ago. I do not believe that science and the Word of God are at odds with each other at all. With *true* biblical scientific inquiry, we gain knowledge and wisdom about God's creation, and as a result, grow closer in our walk with Him. I find the research behind biblical creation extraordinarily exciting. Science needs to catch up with the Word of God … not the other way around! The Holy Bible is the foundation for all true scientific research and discovery. It is the field book to the exploration of God's universe. And, yes, I have already heard all of the reasons why nonbelievers feel and think that the Holy Bible shouldn't be. In all honesty, they are not showing criticism, they are showing opposition. There is quite a difference between the two! I have also heard reasonable and satisfactory rebuttals for each and every Biblical opposition. My own personal rebuttal is simple and short: "If it contradicts God's Word, it's wrong.". I am absolutely convinced that non-Biblical based science has been hijacked by the great liar and deceiver, satan, and is being utilized as a vehicle to destroy God's Truth. And has been since the fall of mankind. Therefore, when all is said and done, the bottom line is this: it is your choice to believe or not believe. Ultimately -- and with absolute certainty -- we can all agree on this: not one of us is going to escape finding out. It is just a matter of time. Tick, tock …