EARLY TRANSISTOR HISTORY AT RCA

Bernard N. Slade

Oral History – Bob Slade (Continued) 

 

 

March 1953 QST article showing first transistor “Ham Radio” transmitter.

 

RCA was second only to Bell Labs in the number of transistor related patents issued by the mid 1950s, and had established a very active research program for this new technology soon after the announcement of the transistor in 1948.  One major focus at RCA was to provide experimental/developmental transistors which could be used in circuits to demonstrate the commercial potential of this technology.  To that end, a Transistor Symposium was held by RCA at the Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton during November 1952.  Invited to the Symposium were RCA commercial licensees who were eager to see useful demonstrations of transistor technology.  Shown above are the devices developed by RCA engineers to illustrate the commercial potential of RCA transistors.  Bob Slade’s team provided TA165 and TA166 point contact transistors for several of these applications, including the TV receiver (top left),  binary adder and  radio transmitter (top center).  Junction transistors (TA153 and TA154), provided by another development team at RCA, were also used in the devices.  The TV receiver was an historic first and is now on display at the Smithsonian museum.  Shown at left is another “First” for RCA’s point contact transistors - the March 1953 issue of QST magazine documents the first transistor “Ham Radio” transmitter, built by George Rose of RCA and using a single TA165/6 transistor.

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Go To Slade Oral History, Page 8

 

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