Transistor Museum Lecture Hall

Mr. Thomas Stanley  

 

The First RCA Transistor Radios

by Thomas Stanley

 

The most important immediate outcome of those years was the relationship that developed among us.  The MOS revolution was just over the horizon, and Bill Webster, Charlie Mueller, Jerry Herzog, Bob Lohman and I understood teamwork and knew each other-- but that's a later story.  Years later, after my retirement from RCA, I had two gratifying experiences.  One was to discover upon seeing the circuit diagram of a just-purchased integrated circuit chip that it was my peculiar emitter-loaded complementary- symmetry audio circuit of forty years earlier.  The second was to read, in a private address given by Akio Morita, legendary chairman of Sony, that the little radio revealed by the RCA researchers played no small part in Sony's success.

                                                                                    Thomas O. Stanley, August  2001

 

 

These two radio photos are taken from the “Progress Report on Transistor Research and Circuit Applications, LB-898”, Copyright © 1952 RCA Labs.   The white rectangular objects shown in the above photo are early developmental transistors.  

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The First RCA Transistor Radios

by Thomas Stanley

 

 

 

As mentioned by Tom Stanley in this lecture, there was a presentation made at the RCA Labs in Princeton NJ to licensees and industry leaders to demonstrate the potential for the new transistor technology. Beginning on November 18, 1952 and continuing for one week, a variety of experimental products were made available for review – there were radios, amplifiers, musical instruments and even a completely transistorized television.  The radio shown in the photo above (front view) and on the left (rear view) was one of the devices on display at this symposium.  This radio used nine junction transistors, including two developmental TA-153 audio types, six experimental SX-160/161 high frequency types, and an experimental audio power type.   Some of these types are shown in the photo above.  The TA-153 was marketed in 1954 by RCA as the 2N34; similarly the TA-154 became the 2N35.  Tom describes this radio as a “personal portable” designed by Loy Barton.  Note the “handful” of transistors and batteries in the upper photo.   

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