June 1952 Radio-Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
When this self-promotion
of progress made on the transistor invention by Bell Telephone Laboratories
appeared in the June 1952 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine, a mere
three and a half years had passed since the announcement of the achievement by
Drs. Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley. Interestingly, it refers
to germanium as a metal rather than as a semiconductor. In that interim, many
problems had been solved in the effort to make robust, reproducible devices that
were affordable replacements for vacuum tubes. One of the primary differences
between the most recent transistors and the early models was the use of doped
junctions rather than point contacts. This made them more resistant to effects
of vibration, temperature changes, and contamination, and also produced higher
yields in manufacturing. Gaining the confidence of designers was imperative if
the newfangled technology was to gain (pun intended) ground as the preferred
component for amplifier, oscillator, mixer, and other type of circuits
traditionally served by tubes.
Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad
The Transistor - A picture report of progress
First Transistors were of this point contact type (picture
three times life size). Current is amplified as it flows between wires through a
wafer of germanium metal. These transistors are now being made at the Allentown
plant of Western Electric, manufacturing unit of the Bell System. They will be used
in a new selector which finds the best routes for calls in Long Distance dialing.
Assembly Problems, such as fixing hair-thin wires to barely
visible germanium wafers, have been solved through new tools and mechanized techniques.
Finished transistors withstand great vibration and shock. Engineers see many opportunities
for these rugged devices in national defense.
New Junction Transistors, still experimental, also use germanium
but have no point contacts. Current is amplified as it flows through germanium "sandwich"
- an electron-poor layer of the metal between two electron-rich ends. This new transistor
runs on as little as one-millionth of the power of small vacuum tubes.
Moist Paper and Coin generate enough current to drive audio
oscillator using junction transistors. Half as big as a penny matchbox, an experimental
two-stage transistor amplifier does the work of miniature-tube amplifiers ten times
Much to Be Learned, especially about the surface of germanium
and the effect of one part in a million of alloying materials. Transistors promise
many uses - as amplifiers, oscillators, modulators ... for Local and Long Distance
switching ... to count electrical pulses.
A tiny amplifying device first announced by Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1948
is about to appear as a versatile element in telephony.
Each step in the work on the transistor ... from original theory to initial production
technique ... has been carried on within the Laboratories. Thus, Bell scientists
demonstrate again how their skills in many fields, from theoretical physics to production
engineering, help improve telephone service.
Bell Telephone Laboratories
Improving telephone service for America provides careers
for creative men in scientific and technical fields.
Posted June 14, 2022
The Battle of
the Atoms - 4/1948 Radio News
The Transistor - 6/1952 Radio-Electronics
- 90-Mile Laboratory
for Telephone and Television, 6/1945 Radio News
Wire-Wrap, 10/53 Radio-Electronics
EDT Crystals, 10/47 Radio-Craft
- Germanium Refining,
5/54 Radio & TV News
- Crystal Timekeeping,
1/46 Radio News
Cable, 11/56 Radio & Television News
- Pipe Circuits,
11/48 Radio & Television News
Electron Tube, 6/54 Radio & Television News
Wire Bonding, 3/58 Radio News
Radio Relay Stations, 8/52 Radio & Television News
6/56 Radio & Television News
Cards, 3/55 Radio & Television News
Communications, 10/55 Radio & Television News
Devices, 2/58 Radio & TV News
Adventure in Silicon, 5/55 Radio & Television News
- Pipes of Progress,
6/55 Radio & Television News
Project Echo, 11/60 Electronics World
Diode Speeds Voices, 8/58 Popular Electronics
Electron Microscope, 4/1952 Radio-Electronics
- Thermistor, 11/1946
Germanium Crystal, 1/1954 Radio-Electronics
Antenna, 5/46 Radio-Craft
- Quality Control, 6/46
Radio News Article
Radio-Relay, 10/51 Radio & TV News
Battery, 7/54 Radio & Television News
Germanium Transistors, 1/54 Radio & Television News
Magnetron, 10/45 Radio News
The Cableman, 10/49 Radio & Television News
Coaxial Cable, 12/49 Radio & Television News
Whiskers, 12/55 Radio & Television News
Contact Inspection, 7/55 Radio & Television News
10th Anniversary, 6/58 Radio & Television News
Wrapping, 10/53 Radio & Television News
Diode Amplifier, 11/58 Radio News
Nobel Prize Winners, 2/57 Radio & Television News
Diode Speeds Voices, 8/58 Popular Electronics
Microwave Relays, 7/59 Electronics World