OSA | Living History

David J Richardson

OSA Awards & Distinctions



David J Richardson, a native of East Orange, New Jersey, USA, received a chemical engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1903. He studied medicine for two years at Boston University before earning a master’s degree in spectroscopy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1937.

He worked on spectroscopy at the American Cyanamid Company before being appointed as the head of the scientific division of Fischer Instruments Company.

In 1947 he joined Bausch and Lomb to establish a grating and scale-ruling laboratory. Many diffraction grating firsts were achieved during his time with Bausch and Lomb, including application of microinterferrometers, control of diffraction grating groove shape, the first mosaic of several diffraction gratings and multiple blazed gratings. Key among his accomplishments was the ability to produce grating replicas equal in quality to the original grating. The laboratory became the world's leader in diffraction gratings and in 1966 Bausch and Lomb named it the David Richardson Grating Laboratory. Since 2004 this laboratory is owned by the Newport Corporation.

Richardson served an international lecturer and was a member of OSA, the American Chemical Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, the Coblentz Society, and the honorary engineering fraternity Tau Beta Pi. He was the first recipient of the David Richardson Medal in 1966. He was also an OSA Fellow.

He passed away 1 August 1966.



Document Created: 17 Sep 2020
Last Updated: 17 Sep 2020