Steve LaValle, University of Oulu, November 2020.
Their message is included below.
Pictures of the head-mounted display at Harvard University, summer 1968
These pictures were all taken sometime in summer 1968. They appeared in Sutherland's paper Sutherland, I. E. (1968). "A head-mounted three dimensional display". Proceedings of AFIPS 68, pp. 757-764. The man in the picture is Quintin Foster. He was acknowledged in the paper.
Please note that the “Sword of Damocles” is the mechanical head position sensor, only. Many internet references erroneously apply that catchy name to the whole system. The sword is a big feature (long tube with shaft encoders attached) at the top of the close-up looking up. The sword is idle in the side view that also shows the ultrasonic position sensor, known as the “shower stall.” Neither sensor appears in the close-up view of the user's face and eyepieces.
All of us (Ivan, Bob, Quintin) agree to let you reproduce these pictures in technical expositions pertaining to the head-mounted display or VR.
Our plan is to donate the lantern slides to the Computer History Museum, to ask them to do a proper job of scanning the images, and to make the images available without restriction. This may not work out; and even if it does, it's likely to take quite a while.
Bob Sproull firstname.lastname@example.org
Quintin Foster email@example.com
Ivan Sutherland firstname.lastname@example.org
20 April 2020