HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS-2

FROM THE FIRST TRANSISTOR TO THE WONDERFUL ZENITH TRANSISTOR RADIOS



This distinguished team began work on making an amplification device that did not use heated filaments or a vacuum. The quest turned out to be significant and lengthy. For some detailed information on the history, technicality and chemistry, there is good information at this PBS Website location.

On December 16, 1947, after two years work, Walter Brattain and John Bardeen demonstrated solid-state amplification. Shockley was at home on that historic day. Shockley's absence would play a significant role in his future relationship with the team. “When Bardeen and Brattain called Shockley to tell him of the invention, Shockley was both pleased at the group's results and furious that he had not been directly involved. He decided that to preserve his standing, he would have to do Bardeen and Brattain one better.” Even though William Shockley technically did not conduct first successful transistor experiment, shortly, he invented and patented the junction transistor which would become the most popular transistor type.

A reproduction of the first transistor
Because of the research team's undying patience and determination; some called it the the new device a “persisor” John Pierce, Bell Labs Engineer, actually named the transistor--- for trans-resistor.
William Shockley-Early 70's
After this historic event, relationships among Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain began to sour. In 1955, Shockley left Bell Labs to form Shockley Semiconductor in in Palo Alto, California. One of Shockley's strongest capabilities was recognizing excellent employees. Once in California, he hired some best talent available for his startup company. Two years later in 1957, primarily because of Shockley's inflexible personality, 8 of Shockley’s employees know as the “traitorous 8” left to form Fairchild Semiconductors. The climate at Fairchild was no longer dictatorial and solid-state development flourished. On April 25, 1961, Fairchild edged out T.I. to receive a patent for the first solid state integrated circuit. The inventor Bob Noyce credited with this development.Two of Shockley's original hires, Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce would become the cofounders of Intel Corporation !!!! ©. Some historians feel Shockley could have been the "first Bill Gates" if he had not been such a poor manager.

Back at Bell Labs, they encountered tremendous engineering production problems in the manufacturing of early transistors. It wasn’t until October, 1952, that the first transistorized telephone equipment was installed at Englewood, NJ. What would be a "buy of the 20th century," in 1952, Bell Labs licensed their technology to GE, IBM, Raytheon, Texas Inst. and “then-to-be” Sony Corporation for $25,000 each!