David Bakalar

Transistor Museum Historic Profile

Recognizing Significant Contributions to 20th Century Semiconductor History and Technology

Curator’s Introduction



Founded in 1952 by David and Leo Bakalar in an old mill in Wakefield Massachusetts, Transitron Electronic Corporation became one of the most successful semiconductor manufacturing companies in the world within a few short years.  By the mid to late 1950s, Transitron was in the top two or three U.S. producers of diodes, rectifiers and transistors, challenging such long established electronic companies as General Electric, RCA and Raytheon.  David Bakalar was the president of Transitron from 1952 to 1984 and his substantial technical achievements with the development of such breakthrough semiconductor devices as gold bonded germanium diodes and silicon rectifiers were the primary basis for Transitron’s success.  This Transistor Museum™ Historic profile will provide historical information regarding Transitron’s early semiconductor technology, as well as recent comments from David Bakalar about his pioneering work over 50 years ago.    

Notable Contributions



Transitron’s first commercially successful product was the gold bonded germanium diode, which sold in the hundreds of millions of units throughout the 1950s and 1960s in such applications as computers, high temperature magnetic amplifiers, military equipment and business machines.  Shown above are two classic Transitron germanium diodes; note the “T” on the smaller 1N34 glass bodied device and the “Transitron” id on the larger plastic bodied 1N81A.  Shown below is a Transitron Corporate logo from the early 1960s.   



More Notable Contributions, Page 2

Above is a recent photograph of David Bakalar, shown with the sculpture entitled Helical Man, from his highly acclaimed series, Icons of Man.  David’s work can be seen at: DavidBakalar.com

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