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The History of LANDAUER: Journey from the Basement to the World

What does LANDAUER have in common with Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Dell, Mattel, and Walt Disney?

Robert LandauerIf you guessed that all these businesses started in a home garage or basement by their creator, and grew into successful, international companies, you’re right!

And while the LANDAUER name may not share instant name recognition, it is familiar to many in the medical, scientific, manufacturing, nuclear, and research fields worldwide who rely on LANDAUER radiation safety products and services. The company is a pioneer in the development of dosimeters and regulations around exposure to occupational and environmental radiation.

Built at Home with a Window to the World

Processing early dosimetersRobert S. Landauer, Jr., following in the scientific footsteps of his pioneering X-ray physicist father, started the company in the utility room of his Park Forest, Illinois home in 1954.

Launched as the R.S. Landauer, Jr. & Co., Robert started by providing insightful radiation dose reports to three large Chicago area hospitals. This required that film badges – state-of-the-art technology at the time -- was first encoded, then processed and analyzed following wearer returns.

In 1956, with a single employee and a nascent joint venture with Nagase & Co in Tokyo, LANDAUER was incorporated.

Reading early dosimetersIn the United States, the company grew due to national interest in radiation hazards. This allowed for business expansion, including the introduction of unit record equipment and cumulative total dose reporting. A research and calibration center followed, and in the 1960s, dosimeter processing was computerized, resulting in more than one million dosimeters digitally analyzed in 1964.

In 1968, a smaller user-oriented badge design and automated film reading system using 8 mm film was introduced.

LANDAUER TLD dosimetersIn 1973, Thermoluminescence Dosimetry (TLD) service began making extremity badges possible. Workers whose fingers and hands were near ionizing radiation now had a specialized dosimeter that yielded specific exposure data. At the same time, LANDAUER Vision, a dosimeter designed to capture lens of eye exposure, debuted.

Landauer wrist dosimeterLANDAUER product development and service enhancements continued, and business grew with affiliations worldwide starting in 1973 under the formal agreement with Nagase & Co.

OSL Introduced

InLight processingAfter introducing its first Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) technology in 1998, LANDAUER developed a new dosimeter program for customers such as national laboratories and nuclear power plants that prefer to exercise greater control of the analytic process. The InLight® program provides dosimeters, analytical readers of varying capacities, and support for virtually every industrial monitoring situation. The three readers were updated in 2020.

RadWatch® is a specially designed OSL dosimeter for the military and first responders. Its exposure dose is read in the field using the LANDAUER RadLight® reader.

Luxel+ dosimeterPerhaps the most well-known LANDAUER dosimeter is LUXEL®+, the hexagon-shaped OSL badge worn by tens of millions of radiation workers worldwide. As a result of wearing LUXEL+ dosimeters, radiation safety officers and office managers routinely receive the important LANDAUER Radiation Dosimetry Reports online through their myLDR portal. This individual occupational dose report is considered the legal dose of record.


Today, LANDAUER provides products and services through joint ventures and affiliations in Japan, Australia, France, UK, China, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, and Brazil. LANDAUER is proud of their team, consisting of over 700 dedicated employees worldwide.

LANDAUER buildingLANDAUER physicists and other scientists are common participants in international and national professional membership and radiation safety standard setting organizations offering expertise to advance research on radiation safety.

In late 2017, LANDAUER was acquired by Fortive, a diversified industrial growth company, and joined the Fluke Health Solutions division, which also includes Fluke Biomedical, RaySafe, and Victoreen.

Together, LANDAUER employees provide innovative products and services to help keep customers -- as well as their patients and employees – safe, while partnering for high quality industry compliance and quality.  As such, LANDAUER, as the leader in biomedical and radiation detection, allows everyday heroes to focus on the importance of delivering safe and effective care.