Lasers Work Like This

Lasers cover

Lasers Work Like This

Lasers! What a great topic for a children’s non-fiction book! This was pretty cutting edge stuff in 1969 when the book was published. Some of the topics are still relevant, such as lasers used in surgery, but the technology has been finessed a lot since 1969. The cover was one of those plain, rebound types with no title on it, so what you see here is the title page. The whole thing is presented in such a boring way, and the information shared is so old-fashioned, that kids will surely be disappointed.

Also, they really buried the lead in the postscript on death rays. They should have led with that to spark a kid’s interest.

Lame! Weed and replace.



laser gun

TV transmission by laser

lasers in the hospital

lasers in surgery

laser death rays


  1. Also, missing pretty much all of the development of diode lasers, such as are found in laser pointers, DVD/BR players, etc.

  2. “Bury the lede” is the original standard spelling. Writing “lead” for “lede” is now so standard that it’s hardly worth mentioning, but it does prevent people from thinking that you are talking about the element Pb.

    1. Actually, “lede” — an archaic alternative spelling for the element Pb — came into use to mean the lead paragraph of a news story in the effort to avoid confusion with another newspaper term, “lead,” which referred to the metal that type and its accessories were made of. “Leading” is the space between lines, so called because in set type days, bars of lead in specific widths (measured in points) made bigger spaces between the lines of type.

      While I am at it, a font is not a type face, as is so widely misstated today — it means the container for a specific letter, number or symbol in a specific size, weight and style, e.g., an R in 12 point Italic upper-case Times Roman. Each such character had its own little rounded dish (think baptismal font) from which the typesetter could sweep it as needed. I used to set letterpress type myself, for signs, so I know this from experience. (I also know how easy it is to set a “b” when you want a “d’ because characters are all backward LOL. Then your sign looks pretty stupid!)

      Even today, the proofreader’s mark for a character of the wrong sort — bold where it should be regular, say — is “wf,” standing for “wrong font.”

      1. The most interesting thing I’ve read all day (yep, it’s not bee a good day so far….)

  3. That’s right boys and girls. Not only must you live in constant paralyzing fear of nuclear bombs being dropped on you, but in the future death rays may be vaporizing people as well. Pleasant dreams!

  4. A children’s book written and published by people who have no idea how to write and publish children’s books.

    1. Growing up in the 70s, I recall a LOT of rebound Educational Children’s Books from the 50s and 60s that were exactly like this one. They were perhaps in the tail end of that style of educational book, but they can’t really be accused of having “no idea,” they were just following an outmoded model.

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