A SURVEY OF EARLY POWER TRANSISTORS

by Joe Knight

THE POWER TRANSISTORS OF THE

BELL TELEPHONE LABS AND WESTERN ELECTRIC

 

Just over sixty years ago, the world as it was known then ceased to exist after the evening of December 23, 1947.  For it was then that Mr. John Bardeen and Mr. Walter Brattain of Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) were able to cause an experimental device (shown below) to exhibit 'amplifying' activity (both to later become Nobel Laureates for this feat). Daily life on the planet Earth has never been the same since then.

 

 

Shown above is the Bell Labs first Transistor device from December, 1947, and sometimes referred to as TRANSISTOR No. 1.

 

The first public announcement of this new "Transistor" invention was finally made in New York by Bell Labs and Western Electric on June 30, 1948, having first secured the necessary protection patents. During this presentation a portable radio was played which used transistors for the active circuit elements - and it was heard out loud by the audience. By the end of 1948 BTL had developed and began producing the first point-contact (PTC) transistor useful for circuit and product development. This was simply called the Bell Labs Type A transistor as nothing else existed at that time.

 

 

Go To BTL/Western Electric Early Power Transistors, Page 2

 

 

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Joe Knight Early Power Transistor History – BTL/WESTERN ELECTRIC