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From 1969-1976, Halsted headed Hughes Aircraft Company's commercial gas laser unit within the firm's industrial electronics group. In this conversation Halsted describes some of the customers Hughes had for argon-ion and helium neon lasers. He talks about the composition of the work force, and about the kinds of development work that was required to commercialize the tubes. He also touches on the degree to which commercial products were "spin-offs" from military technology, and the slow rate at which the commercial laser market developed.