Historic Transistor Photo Gallery

Raytheon Blues – “Red, White and Blue”




                                        Unique Case Styles of Raytheon Germanium Transistors



Photo Essay Commentary

For a short time, Raytheon used the case color as an indicator of transistor polarity/type.  The blue units were all germanium and the red units were silicon.  Other companies used case color schemes too for identifying early transistor types.  For example Texas Instruments used yellow, red and blue to indicate the gain of a very early product line of germanium transistors (200 series) from the 1953/54 time frame.  As transistor technology developed and there was an effort to standardize across the industry, the use of color as an identification technique was dropped.  In the photo above, the blue cased unit is one of famous “Raytheon Blues”, which was introduced in 1955 as an improvement to the earlier black plastic types.  The white unit is an experimental plastic type (unpainted) from the early 1950s – it is hand labeled as QC110 on top of the case.  The red device is one of Raytheon’s first silicon transistors.  It is an alloyed junction PNP and is representative of Raytheon’s efforts to move into the highly lucrative silicon transistor market that was dominated by Texas Instruments.    The CK793 sold for an unbelievable $92 in a 1956 Lafayette Radio catalog (for comparison, the blue CK722 cost $1.) 


Go To PhotoGallery Raytheon Blues Page 6



Copyright © 2005 by Jack Ward. All Rights Reserved.