An overview of optics technology advances from World War II to the present is given. This overview concentrates on subject matter pertinent to the session "Optics to the Year 2000." The development of a typical technology from the conceptual level to deployment is discussed. A summary of the dollar growth in optics technology over the past 10 years is also provided. Significant events in each of seven optics technologies are discussed: fiber optics, high-power lasers, integrated optics, flat-panel displays, solar cells, medical optics, and space optics. Discussion of these areas includes their history, applications, "drivers," current limitations, industrial base, and current status of each. Finally, a summary is given.