An Interview with Homer Coonce

 Early Transistor Digital Logic - Flyable TRADIC to Nike Zeus








These photos illustrate two stages of point contact transistor development that were coincident with Homer’s work on the Flyable TRADIC computer at Bell Labs.  Shown above is a “cartridge” type unit, A1698. This model represents a very early (1953) prototype stage of transistor development that was based on the original “Type A” transistor model from 1949.  This particular unit is a pre-production device, with a handwritten id number on the metal case and a crudely stamped lead arrangement diagram shown on the cardboard packaging.  On the left is a 2N67 production device, which represents the mature style of point contact transistor that was actually put into production by Western Electric and was chosen as the basis for transistor circuitry in the Flyable TRADIC computer. This rugged style of point contact technology was originally developed for the 2N21 transistor with the intent of providing devices for military and phone company use.  [1]   It is interesting to note that the 2N67, and the related 2N110 point contact transistor, were manufactured by Western Electric into the 1960s, long after the basic technology had been superceded by junction devices and silicon developments.   




Go To Coonce Oral History, Pg 5





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