Christian 3D History

150 Years of Christian 3D:
From Stereo Photography to Laser Holography.

The Frank & Debi DeFreitas Christian 3D Collection


3D HOLOGRAM: Antioch Chalice from futuretech on GodTube.

A hologram looks like the real object is on display.
But there is no object at all. It is a 3D holographic image.

Runtime: 1 Min. / Hologram by Frank & Deb DeFreitas

Publishing Notes:
Updated 1 DEC 2014

Christian 3D History
Close up detail of a diamond cross, 3D laser hologram.
The diamonds sparkle, but the cross isn't there.
It is made entirely of laser light.
Reach for it, and your fingers grasp nothing.


Historic Allentown Home

ALL WHO PASS through the doorway of this humble (yet historic) row home in Allentown, PA witnesses an exhibition like no other before . . . an exhibition that fills the senses with wonderment and awe . . .

THE SHORT STORY: This is an exhibit documenting 150 years of Christian 3D. It includes antique stereographs, vintage lenticular prints, up to modern three dimensional laser holograms. It is curated by Frank DeFreitas, who manages the 20,000+ piece Antiquarian Holographica collection. There is truly no other exhibit (or collection) like it in the world today.


*WHY* is there a collection / exhibit of Christian 3D?
With the increasing popularity of 3D photography, movies and television, there is a renewed interest in the history of 3D in general. Many people are very surprised to learn that 3D has been with us since the middle of the 1800's(!) *AND* Christian 3D photography, specifically, was the driving force in its acceptance and further development.

Christian 3D lenticulars

While one will find an abundance of information online about the history of 3D photography in medical imaging, advertising, movies, etc., there is no information whatsoever documenting its history in Christianity (as of year 2011).

Christian 3D photography

*WHEN* did Christian 3D photography begin?
Christian 3D began right along with the earliest stereoscopic photography in the mid 19th century (1850's), with mainly glass plates and French tissue stereoviews. It continued through early stereoview cards (mid 19th through early 20th century), to the printing of mass repicated 3D lenticular images, and film-based imaging (mid 20th century). After seeing somewhat of a lull in production and interest in the latter half of the 20th century, it has emerged once again through today's latest technologies: digital, wide-screen HD televisions, electronic autostereoscopic hand held devices, and the most futuristic of them all: three-dimensional laser holograms.

Christian 3D Art
Various 3D imaging technologies:
From the earliest stereoscopic, to the latest
in laser holographic recordings.

*HOW* did the collection get started?
I (Frank DeFreitas) work with, and collect, items related to the history of three-dimensional imaging, particularly the field of holography. My collection is called "Antiquarian Holographica". It contains over 20,000 historical items, and it has taken over 35 years to assemble. Both my wife and I work as a team with this aspect of the collection.

Christian 3D Photography Exhibit
Your Host, Frank DeFreitas, in the exhibit / lecture room.

Since the topic of Christian 3D history has never been covered before anywhere online, in print, or in an exhibition setting (that I am aware of), and in order to present the collection in a orderly way, I have broken it down into several main categories. Content ranges from mid- 19th century stereoscopic photography to 21st century laser holograms, digital 3D-HD autostereo, and beyond to 3D 4k and 8k UltraHD. For those that cannot make the trip to Allentown, Pennsylvania, I have begun to post selected items from the collection in the following categories:

  • SPECIAL: the computer generated 3D image calculated directly from the famous Shroud of Turin. Another is on display in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City.

    Also: Christian based 3D optical illusions, and various pieces of historical ephemera. Bible leaves dating back to the 1400's are on display, along with a scroll containing the book of Genesis. You may also find the various miniature Bibles fascinating, including the smallest Bible (at the time) ever printed.

    The photo gallery / blog / archive is now open as of 1 Oct. 2014. Please visit and subscribe to enjoy posts as they are made:

Christian 3D Collection Photo Gallery

Every piece of the collection is an original, not a reproduction. Some pieces are held in highly esteemed historical archives such as the Library of Congress, and the George Eastman House Library Archive.

world's smallest lords prayer
See the world's smallest Lord's Prayer:
Just the width of a human hair.
Made with lasers and stored as a hologram.

antique gas discharge light bulb
This beautiful vintage light bulb was a distant cousin to the eventual LASER. Gas discharge lamps contained low pressure gas, either neon or argon, or a mixture of the two. The light comes from an electric discharge between two electrodes, bombarding the gas atoms with electrons. In this photo, the two electrodes are in the shape of a cross.

3D Church Event
Have a presentation with Frank at your church,
school or home school group.

Frank and Deb DeFreitas


All visits to my home holography studio are by appointment only.

Best Regards,
Frank & Deb DeFreitas

Frank DeFreitas
Phone: 610-434-8236

send email to frank defreitas at holoworld

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Frank DeFreitas 2015 My name is Frank DeFreitas ...
I viewed my first laser and hologram in 1968 and designed and built my own holography lab in 1983. I have spent 30+ years working with lasers and holograms in various capacities. Presently, I am retired to my study, where I spend my time caring for my 20,000+ piece holography history archives and welcoming the occasional visitor from around the world. I now have time to work on my own projects, and I enjoy providing historical and technical knowledge through speaking engagements. My full bio page is here, and you can write to me at: holoworld at yahoo dot com (replace the "at" with @ and the "dot" with .)

Frank DeFreitas Holography

The Rocks Will Cry Out Hologram Exhibit, 2015, Allentown, Pennsylvania

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