Note: Many of these advances in holography were made in more than one place and over a period of time. Dates given here represent in most cases the first publication on the subject.
1801 Thomas Young discovers the phenomenon of interference of light.
1828 William Nicol uses birefringent crystals to produce linear polarization of light beams.
1835 Henry Talbot produces the first negative–positive photograph.
1864 James Clerk Maxwell formulates the equations that show the electromagnetic nature of light.
1881 Albert Michelson invents the interferometer.
1887 Heinrich Hertz discovers the photoelectric effect.
1891 Gabriel Lippmann produces color photographs by interference of light waves.
1905 Albert Einstein proposes ...