The Transistor

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman


For several decades the de Forest vacuum tube was the standard electronic amplifying device. Now the transistor, a tiny, rugged amplifying device conceived in the Bell Laboratories, is in a number of cases replacing vacuum tubes in radio sets, hearing-aids, telephone switching-systems, computers, bomb-sights and a variety of other electronic devices. The transistor, being only a small piece of crystal, is much less bulky than the vacuum tube; it does not require heating and so economises power and avoids the generation of unwanted heat. Although still in its infancy, it has already made its mark as a valuable creation.


Tungsten Carbide Tungsten Wire Vacuum Tube Bell Laboratory Bell Telephone Laboratory 
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  1. 1.
    Kelly, Mervin, ‘The First Five Years of the Transistor’, Bell Telephone Magazine, Summer 1953.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Interview with John Bardeen, formerly of Bell Laboratories and now Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bello, Francis, ‘The Year of the Transistor’, Fortune, Mar. 1953.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brown, Ralph, ‘The Transistor as an Industrial Research Episode’, Scientific Monthly, Jan. 1955.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

There are no affiliations available

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