Len Buckwalter

Transistor Museum Historic Profile

Recognizing Significant Contributions to 20th Century Semiconductor History and Technology

Curator’s Introduction


Mr. Len Buckwalter’s technical publications from the 1960s and 1970s have had a major impact on many of us who were first involved with transistor technology during that time.  He authored dozens of transistor construction project articles that appeared in Electronics Illustrated magazine, where he was active as a technical editor and column author.  Len may best be remembered for his now legendary books from the 1960s that were written primarily for the young hobbyists and electronics experimenters of the day.  If you built your first transistor radio or audio oscillator with germanium transistors and still remember the many pleasurable hours spent reviewing the latest construction projects from Electronics Illustrated or “Having Fun with Transistors”, then Len Buckwalter’s substantial contributions to transistor history have been reaffirmed.  Beginning in the 1970s, Buckwalter became active in the field of avionics, and remains a major contributor in this field.  This Historic Profile will cover Len’s prolific work related to transistor electronics from the early years of this technology.  Included will be a listing of his more than 22 books on electronics, highlights and photos of noted transistor projects, and excerpts from a recent Transistor Museum interview.   

Notable Contributions





During the 1960s and 1970s, Len Buckwalter was a well-known author of magazine articles and books on transistor construction projects.  Shown at left is the front cover of one of these classic publications, “Having Fun with Transistors”.  Unique among other electronics publications of the time, many of Len’s books were written in a manner that combined fun and technical education.  Who can forget such projects as “Boris – The Talking Skull” or “The Electronic Eyeball”?  Buckwalter’s books sold in large quantities and are still available for those interested in constructing these historic projects. Shown above is a section of the cover from the September 1972 issue of Electronics Illustrated magazine, which featured an educational transistor project by Len.  He wrote classic construction articles for EI for many years.

More Notable Contributions, Page 2

Front cover of the first edition of “Having Fun with Transistors”, dated June 1962. This well-remembered classic includes 13 unusual transistor construction projects.    

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