Transistor Radio

Lead: In 1954 Texas Instruments and its partner released for the holiday shopping season a remarkable new product which transformed entertainment and pointed to the electronic future: the transistor radio.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Just six years earlier, Bell Labs scientists had announced the invention of a primitive replacement for the vacuum tube. The glass enclosed tubes, invented in 1907 propelled the electronic world forward and made possible amplification, radio and long distance telephony, but tubes were slow, hot, bulky, and short-lived. The replacement was called a transistor or “transfer resistor.” It used the element germanium (and later silicon) covered on both sides with another element to create a tiny alternative to the vacuum tube which could act as an amplifier or a on/off switch.