TRANSISTOR MUSEUM™  

Historic Semiconductor

Photo Gallery Index

 

 

The Transistor Museum™ Photo Gallery has been established to provide an easily accessible and informative repository of high quality photographs and detailed information about many of the unique and historic transistors, diodes and integrated circuits from the early days of this exciting technology. This material should be an invaluable aid to historians, experimenters, hobbyists and anyone else interested in learning about the history of semiconductors and how these ubiquitous devices have come to shape the modern world.    

RECENT UPDATES

UPDATED 8-31-2012

(Added New section on 1950s/60s Historic Signal Corps transistors).

 

UPDATED 3-13-2008

(Added CBS/Hytron 1N81 and Raytheon CK705 – Historic germanium crystal diodes from the 1950s).

UPDATED 2-8-2008

(Added CBS/Hytron 2N36, 2N37 and 2N38 series of germanium PNP alloy transistors – rare devices from a little known semiconductor company.  Also added 1950s Honeywell germanium power transistor tetrode prototype).

 

UPDATED 1-26-2008

(Added Tung-Sol 2N63, 2N64 and 2N65 series of germanium PNP alloy transistors.  Excellent 1950s germanium audio devices from a well-known vacuum tube company).

UPDATED 12-31-2007

(Added National Union historic germanium diodes.  Also added Centralab SA001, which is a unique and historic mid 1950s “pre-IC” semiconductor device).

 

UPDATED 12-23-2007

(Added National Union historic T18-B point contact, and T21-A alloy junction transistors.  Very rare and historic devices).

 

UPDATED 12-09-2007

(New updates to the Western Electric section, with detailed information on historic early point contact types 2N22 and 2N23).

 

Use the links from the table below to see photos and descriptions of Historic Transistors.  Also provided are links to Transistor Museum™ Oral Histories, where you’ll find commentary from those engineers and scientists who were responsible for developing and using these wonderful devices.  When available, Transistor Museum™ Store details will be listed.

 

The Photo Gallery will be updated frequently, so come back often.

 

 

MODEL #

&

PHOTO LINK

 

TYPE

DATE

COMMENTS

LINKS TO ADDITIONAL

MUSEUM INFO

 

 

 

 

 

BELL LABS

Type A

(Photo Essay)

Point Contact

Prototype

1948

First developmental transistor.  Used to investigate basic transistor functionality and circuit operation.

Walter MacWilliams

Oral History

Bead Type

(Photo Essay)

Point Contact

Prototype

1951

First plastic cased point contact transistor - used to investigate reliability and performance of devices built with inexpensive plastic technology.

1689

 

1760

M1752

(Photo

Essay)

Germanium Grown Junction

Prototype

1951

First developmental junction transistor.  Primitive and hand-built, but basis of modern semiconductor technology.

2N27 2N28 2N29

Prototype Diffused Base

 

Germanium and

Silicon Diffused Base

1954/55

First diffused base transistors. Developed at Bell Labs in 1954 (germanium) and 1955 (silicon). Major breakthrough for future semiconductor technology (ICs and high frequency transistors).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS HYTRON

2N36 2N37 2N38

Alloy Junction (Ger)

1953

First “2N” devices from CBS Hytron.  Excellent quality early germanium transistors.

2N38 Museum Store

2N155

Germanium Power

1956

Early germanium power transistor.

 

2N156 2N158

Germanium Power

1956

Early germanium power transistor.

 

2N180

Alloy Junction (Ger)

1956

Early germanium audio driver.

 

PT-2A

Point Contact

1953

Very early commercial point contact.

 

Historic CBS Hytron Diodes

 

 

1N81

Crystal Diode

(Ger)

Early 1950s

Early military grade general purpose germanium diode.  Manufactured from the 1950s thru the 1960s by many companies for military use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CENTRALAB

SA001

Fused Ceramic  Transistor Device

Mid 1950s

Pre-IC ceramic transistor assembly patented by Jack Kilby prior to his pioneering work at TI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAIRCHILD

2N697

NPN

Silicon Mesa

1958

First commercial Fairchild transistor.

 

2N1613

NPN

Silicon Planar

1960

First silicon planar transistor, precursor to integrated circuit technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE)

Glass Prototype

 

NPN Rate Grown Junction (Ger)

Mid

1950s

Experimental glass case. Early prototype to determine suitability of glass packaging.

Carl David Todd

Oral History

G11/G11A

 

Point Contact

1953

Developmental point contact.  One of the first GE commercial transistors.

 

2N43 2N44 2N45

 

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1953

The first commercial transistor to be built to military specs.  Basis for the famous GE “top-hat” case style.

Carl David Todd

Oral History

 

2N43/44/45

Museum Store

2N78

NPN Grown Junction (Ger)

1955

Early high frequency, low cost. 

 

2N107

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Well-remembered 1950s hobbyist transistor, similar to the famous Raytheon CK722. 

2N107 Museum Store

 

Carl David Todd

Oral History

2N123

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Early military and computer device.

 

2N167

2N167A

 

NPN Grown Junction (Ger)

1955

Early military and computer device.  High reliability – used in early Univac computers.

2N167 Museum Store

2N135 2N136 2N137

 

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Early type developed for radio RF/IF.

 

2N169

2N169A

 

NPN Grown Junction (Ger)

1955

Early commercial radio transistor.  Used as IF amp in many 1950s radios.

2N169 Museum Store

 

2N170

NPN Grown Junction (Ger)

1956

Hobbyist RF type.

2N170 Museum Store

2N489 2N490 2N491 2N492 2N493 2N494

 

N-Type Silicon Bar Unijunction Transistor

Mid 1950s

Historic early commercial versions of the unique “Single Junction” semiconductor switching device

2N489 Museum Store

 

Jerry Suran Oral History

2N508

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1957

First GE type intended for HiFi audio.

Dwight Jones

Oral History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GERMANIUM PRODUCTS CORP (GPC)

2N98A

NPN Grown Junction (Ger)

1957

Very early transistor manufacturer.

 

2517

NPN Grown Junction (Ger)

1952

One of the first commercially available transistors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONEYWELL

Germanium Power Tetrode Prototype

PNP Alloy Junction Power Tetrode (Ger)

1957/58

Very rare prototype of Honeywell power tetrode style transistor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTOROLA

XN-1 XN-2 XN-3

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1954/55

Prototypes. Likely the first Motorola germanium junction transistors.

 

XN-6B    XN-13

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

Mid

1950s

Prototypes. Interesting experimental oil-filled devices for medium power applications.

 

MN9     MN27

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

Late

1950s

Pre-production units.  Motorola used “MN” proprietary numbering for early production types.

 

EP-7

Point Contact

 

Early 1950s

Prototypes. Likely the first Motorola point contact transistor.

 

Power Prototype

PNP Alloy Junction Power (Ger)

1954/55

Prototypes. Likely the experimental precursor to the 2N176 style power transistor.

 

 

2N176

PNP Alloy Junction Power (Ger)

1956

One of the first successful commercial power transistors.  Used in millions of hybrid automobile radios.

 

2N311

PNP Alloy Junction Power (Ger)

1957

Rare limited production device, sold commercially in low quantities.  Motorola’s tentative competitor to the RCA 2N404.

 

2N705

PNP Diffused Base Mesa (Ger)

Late

1950s

Early germanium mesa type, based on diffusion technology developed at Bell Labs.  Very successful commercially.

Prototype Diffused Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL UNION

T18-B

Point Contact

1953

Early production point contact device from historic company – very rare.

 

T21-A

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1953

One of the earliest commercial alloy junction devices; used in hearing aids.

 

National Union Historic Diodes

 

 

NU Germanium Diodes

Point Contact and Gold Bonded

1952/53

Rare and historic early 1950s commercial germanium diodes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHILCO

A01

PNP Surface Barrier (Ger)

Mid 1950s

Hobbyist type; used in radio frequency applications.

 

Surface Barrier

PNP Surface Barrier MADT (Ger)

Late 1950s

Leading high speed germanium transistor technology in the 1950s.

 

2N501

PNP Surface Barrier MADT (Ger)

Late 1950s

Very high frequency germanium, used in radios and computers.

2N501 Museum Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RADIO RECEPTOR

RR66

Photo Transistor (Ger)

1954

First commercial photo transistor

Art Rossoff Oral History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAYTHEON

CK311

Germanium Power

1960s

Unique Raytheon power device.

 

CK718

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1952

Early hearing aids.

CK718 Museum Store

CK722 (Black)

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1953

First hobbyist type.

CK722 Webpage

CK722 (Blue)

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

First hobbyist type.

CK722 Webpage

CK722 (Silver)

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

Late 1950s

First hobbyist type.

CK722 Webpage

CK726

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Rare and unique Raytheon blue cased germanium hearing aid transistor. 

Raytheon Blues Museum Store

CK78X

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

Mid 1950s

First metal cased Raytheon hearing aid transistor.  Later used as CK722.

CK78X Museum Store

CK793

PNP Alloy Junction (Sil)

1957

Military applications.

 

Historic Raytheon Diodes

 

 

CK705

Crystal Diode

(Ger)

1949/50

Early Raytheon 1N34 equivalent.  Used by many hobbyists for crystal radio construction projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RCA

SX155

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Developmental/experimental audio power transistor.  Used in early HiFi amplifier.

H.C. Lin Oral History

 

Bob Slade Oral History

 

TA153

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1952

Developmental PNP.  Prototype of the 2N34.

 

TA154

NPN Alloy Junction (Ger)

1952

Developmental NPN. Prototype of the 2N35.

 

TA165

Point Contact

1951/2

Developmental point contact.

Bob Slade Oral History

 

TA166

 

Point Contact

1951/2

Developmental point contact. Early high frequency device, used in first transistor TV.

Jerry Herzog

Oral History

 

Norm Ditrick

Oral History

 

Fred Hunter Oral History

2N33

Point Contact

1953

Early commercial point contact.

 

2N72

Point Contact

1953/54

Military Preparedness contract.

 

2N109

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Early commercial audio.

 

2N404

PNP Alloy Junction (Ger)

1957

Early germanium computer transistor.  Very popular device through the 1960s.

 

Adolph Blicher

Oral History

 

2N404 Museum Store

 

2N247

PNP Drift Alloy Junction (Ger)

1957

First commercial drift transistor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shockley Transistor Corp

4E30

(Photo

Essay)

Four Layer Diode (Sil) PNPN

“Shockley Diode”

1957

One of the few products developed by Shockley Transistor Corp.

Gene Weckler

Oral History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signal Corps (U.S. Army)

Clevite 2N297

PNP Alloy

(Ger)

Mid 50s

Low Frequency and Audio Power

 

Sylvania 2N625

NPN Alloy

(Ger)

Mid 50s

Computer Core Driver

 

Motorola 2N1004

PNP Drift

(Ger)

Mid 50s

6 MC Video Amplifier

 

Lansdale Tube 2N1201

NPN Surface Alloy Diffused Base (Sil)

Mid 50s

12.5 MC Video Amplifier

 

Raytheon 2N1657

NPN Diffused Base (Sil)

Mid 50s

High Power Audio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony

2T76

Grown Junction (Ger)

 

Mid 50s

Early Japanese commercial type, used in first Sony radios..

Alan Kastner Web Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvania

2N35

Alloy Junction (Ger)

1953

Early hobbyist type.

 

2N68

Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Early hobbyist audio power type.

 

2N95

Alloy Junction (Ger)

1955

Early hobbyist audio power type.

 

2N307

Alloy Junction (Ger)

Mid

1950s

Early hobbyist audio power type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Instruments (TI)

R212

Alloy Junction (Ger)

Early

1960s

High reliability germanium transistor designed for use in the Polaris missile program.

 

R212 Museum Store

 

TIXM10

PNP Epitaxial Planar

(Ger)

Mid 1960s

Preproduction type, available only in limited quantities.  Early plastic cased style.  Epitaxial planar process used with germanium to produce very high frequency performance.

 

 

900 Series

Grown Junction (Sil)

1954

First commercial silicon transistor type. Series range 900, 901, 902, 903, 904, 905.

Link to IEEE Spectrum TI Silicon Transistor History Article

 

Bill Brower Oral History

2N117

Grown Junction (Sil)

1956

1st commercial standard “2N” silicon type. Series range 2N117, 2N118, 2N119 and 2N120.

 

2N172

Grown Junction (Ger)

1956

One of a series of very successful TI germanium transistors used by most manufacturers of radios in the 1950s. TI made a complete set of these types of devices, and sold 100,000s of units.  

 

TI Germanium Radio Transistors  Museum Store

2N33X

Grown Junction (Sil)

1957

Early successful commercial and industrial line of silicon transistors.  2N335 type used in first U.S. earth satellite, Explorer 1, launched in 1958. Series range includes 2N332, 2N333, 2N334, 2N335, 2N336, 2N337, 2N338. 

 

George Ludwig Oral History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transistor Products Inc (TPI)

2G

Point Contact

1953/4

Early production point contact transistor.

Neville Fletcher Oral History

X-78

Germanium Power

1953/4

Early germanium experimental power transistor. 

Neville Fletcher Oral History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tung-Sol

2N63 2N64 2N65

Alloy Junction

(Ger)

 

1957

Excellent 1950s germanium audio transistors from a well-known vacuum tube company. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Electric

1689

Point Contact

1952

Early experimental point contact. Proto of 2N23.

 

1760

Point Contact

1952

Early experimental point contact. Proto of 2N26.

 

1858

Grown Junction (Ger)

1953

Early pre-production type used in phone company equipment.

 

2N22

Point Contact

1952/53

Historic and very rare “metal cartridge” type point contact developmental transistor.

 

2N23

Point Contact

1952/53

Historic and rare “plastic bead” type point contact developmental transistor.

 

2N24

Point Contact

1952/53

Early military point contact.

 

2N27

Grown Junction (Ger)

Early 1950s

First RTMA registered 2N junction transistor.

2N27 2N29

Museum Store

2N29

Grown Junction (Ger)

Mid 1950s

Early highly ruggedized and hermetically sealed junction transistor.

2N27 2N29

Museum Store

2N110

Point Contact

Mid 1950s

Commercial quality point contact transistor.  Used in military equipment.

2N110

Museum Store

3N22

Grown Junction (Ger)

1956/57

First commercial WECO tetrode.

 

4B 4C

Grown Junction (Ger)

1957

Early production type – was employed in operational phone company equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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