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Transistor Size (5/16”Diameter X 1/8” Thick) 

Date Code 6-53 (1953 Week 6) on Back

 

Text on Cardboard Package

Later 1953 Packages Printed in Blue

 

WESTERN ELECTRIC

1689

 

TYPE

Germanium Bead Type

Point Contact Transistor

 

USAGE

Switching

 

DATE INTRODUCED

1952

 

CASE STYLES

White Epoxy Semi-Circular Bead

 

AVAILABILITY

Rare (Limited Production)

HISTORIC NOTES

There were several case styles used by Bell Labs/Western Electric for the early point contact transistors.  The 1689 shown above represents the commercial version of one of these case styles, known as the “bead type” case style – this case type was used only for point contact transistors by Bell Labs/Western Electric.    The 1760 was the early version of the 2N23 transistor.  The process used by Bell Labs/Western Electric for developing early transistors sometimes resulted in similar model numbers, distinguished by prefix identifiers to indicate maturity of design.  For example, an “M” was used to identify a very early design still under development at BTL in (M)urray Hill.  An “A” was used to identify a more mature design, but still not yet ready for production at the WECO (A)llentown manufacturing facility. So, there were M1689, A1689, 1689 and 2N23 transistors, each representing a more mature step in the commercialization process.  Like all Western Electric transistors, these were not typically sold commercially, and were available only for military and phone company uses. 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2002 by Jack Ward

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