Norman B. Krim

Transistor Museum Historic Profile

Recognizing Significant Contributions to 20th Century Semiconductor History and Technology

Curator’s Introduction


Mr. Norman Krim has been associated with the Raytheon company for over 75 years, beginning as a consultant in 1933, when he was in his junior year at MIT.  He began work on a permanent basis with Raytheon in 1935 as an electron tube manufacturing engineer, shortly after receiving his EE degree from MIT.  Norm has held a variety of senior engineering and management positions at Raytheon, including Vice President of the Receiving Tubes and Semiconductors Division in the 1950s.  He left Raytheon in the early 1960s to become the President and CEO of Radio Shack Corporation, returning to Raytheon later in the 1960s, where he has remained a consultant.  Norm was appointed Raytheon archivist and historian in 1990, and remains active in that position.   Mr. Krim is best remembered by thousands of today’s engineers and electronics enthusiasts as the man most responsible for the development of the historic CK722 germanium hobbyist transistor.  His pioneering work at Raytheon with subminiature vacuum tubes, germanium diodes and hearing aids in the 1940s and 1950s led directly to introduction of the CK722 in 1953 as the first low cost junction transistor available to the general public.  This Historic Profile has been developed to recognize Mr. Norman Krim as “The Father of the CK722”.    

Notable Contributions



Above: If you built your first transistor radio in the 1950s/60s, then likely you used a CK722.  Shown above is a photo of the colorful Raytheon packaging developed for these first hobbyist transistors.  Maybe you still remember the time when, as a young hobbyist, you were able to scrape together enough money (through saving your allowance) to buy that first CK722 – can you still recall the smell of the solder and the absolute delight of hearing a local radio station coming though “loud and clear” on that newly constructed transistor radio powered by, of course, a gleaming bright blue CK722?

Left: Norm Krim worked with Radio Shack in 1953 to establish the first distributor shipments of commercial transistors in the U.S.  By 1954, Raytheon had manufactured over 1,000,000 germanium transistors.  

More Notable Contributions, Page 2

Sept 1953 Photo of Mr. Norm Krim with a box of CK722 transistors, destined for Radio Shack

COPYRIGHT © 2009 by Jack Ward.  All Rights Reserved.