Transistor Museum Lecture Hall

This Afternoon Featuring Mr. Rudi Herzog

A Well Known Authority on the Topic:

“The Early History of Transistors in Germany”


Curator’s Introduction


Thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule this afternoon to attend another exciting presentation at the Transistor Museum Lecture Hall.  We are pleased that Mr. Rudi Herzog has agreed to share with us his extensive knowledge on the Early History of Transistors in Germany.  Mr. Herzog, an electrical engineer by education and experience, has spent the last several years researching this topic in his native country, and has been able to uncover quite a bit of relevant documentation, samples of early transistors, and even personally to interview some of the key individuals who were active in this field in Germany in the 1950s.  Almost nothing has been published on this topic, so we are fortunate indeed to have this opportunity to listen to Rudi’s presentation. 



This is a photo of a Rost GT10 point contact transistor.  According to Rudi, this device, from 1952, represents the earliest known commercial point contact transistor manufactured in Germany.




Early History of Transistors in Germany

by Rudi Herzog


All material in this lecture is

Copyright © 2001 by Rudi Herzog.

Used with permission.


As most of you may know, the transistor was invented in the American Bell Laboratories in December 1947 but introduced to the public not before mid 1948.  Three years later, in fall of 1951, Bell Labs began to give licenses against royalties to several interested electronic companies. Some German firms acquired this licence as well and started developing transistors for commercial and consumer applications. However, all these works were based on experiences made by US firms and appeared with a time lag of around 12 to 18 months.

The Start in 1952


The beginning for transistor development in Germany was in early 1952. A small electronic laboratory with the name of Dr. Rudolf Rost took the merit of establishing the very first samples of a point-contact transistor.  The company was located in the town of Hannover which is around 100 miles south of Hamburg.  Dr. Rost only had two employees and seems to have been the pioneer of semiconductor development in Germany.


Go To Rudi Herzog Page 2

COPYRIGHT © 2001 by Jack Ward.  All Rights Reserved.