EARLY TRANSISTOR HISTORY AT RCA

Archer Mohr

 

Biograhic Note

 

Archer Mohr worked for RCA for 32 yrs, from 1949 to 1981.  He held various positions during this time including design engineering and engineering leader at Harrison and Somerville, production and manufacturing manager at the newly opened semiconductor plant at Mountaintop Pa, and plant manager at the RCA Semiconductor plant in Liege Belgium in the early 1970’s.  Arch Mohr’s work spans three decades of semiconductor developments and his Oral History, recorded in Jan 2001, provides excellent insight into the rapid developemnts during that time.

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This photo shows a close-up of the 2N72 point contact transistor from 1953/54. According to Mr. Mohr, “The major work on the point contact transistor was the result of a Signal Corps Industrial Preparedness Contract.  From this came the 2N72. The object of the contract was to build a manufacturing capacity for 20K (?) units/mo. & demonstrate the production capability by a production run of 2K.  To the best of my knowledge, no further work was done on point contact transistors at RCA after this initial run of 2000 units”.  Dimensions of the metal cased unit are 5/16” X 6/16”.

 

 2N72 PhotoGallery Information

 

Oral History – Arch Mohr

 

Shortly after I joined the receiving tube design section in Harrison, N.J. in late 1951, I was assigned product design work on point contact Transistors, continuing the advanced development  work of Bob Slade.  I made developmental samples for customer sampling and spent considerable time in testing samples and developing specifications.  In 1952 or '53, RCA received a Signal Corps Industrial Preparedness Contract for a point contact transistor. This resulted in the development of the 2N72.  After the required production run of 2000 (if I recall correctly), no more 2N72's were made.

 

After completion of the Sig. Corps Contract, I worked on the development of various germanium alloy transistors--including the type mentioned by Charley Mueller in his Oral History.  It was during this time that RCA established the Semiconductor Division and built the Somerville N.J. plant.  In the mid 1950s, RCA received another Sig. Corps Industrial Preparedness Contract to develop 5 different power transistors--a 1 watt npn ge. transistor, a 1 watt pnp ge. trans. and 3 silicon power transistors (1 watt, 5 watt, and 10 watt if I remember correctly). I was named the engineering leader on the contract. Germanium alloying processes were well established by this time so that most of the effort involved package design ( a small TO-3 package resulted) and establishing the final specifications.  These 2 ge. alloy transistors became the 2N1183 & 2N1184.

 

Go To Mohr Oral History, Page 2

 

 

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