This Oral History was taken
in Jan 2002
I started at TI in July of
1953 and took early retirement on April 11, 1975, having reached the age of
60 with 20 years of service. I worked on the point contact transistors,
PNP and NPN junction transistors, silicon and germanium diodes, and 10 amp
power transistors. I operated vacuum systems and, with a very good friend
(Charlie Earhart), I worked on switching plates. I worked with the group
that built the transistors for the Regency radio – now that was a big
deal! We worked late every night. If I remember correctly, they had to
have two transistors with the same readings. I also worked in wafer
processing and in research.
Point Contact Transistors
My first job was point contact
transistors. I can’t remember just when I built my first one, but I’m sure
it was sometime in August of 1953. It was quite a deal to build them.
Here are the basic steps, as I
1) First was to get the
material to make the points. A strip of fiber about 3” long, ¼ “ wide and
1/8” thick. Then you needed strips of phosphorous bronze and beryllium
copper. These strips were 10 Mils. The metal strips were cleaned and
stuck on the fiber lengthwise on either side with about 1/16” separation.
Next, the strips were put in a press and then baked at 300 degrees for
about four hours.
Oral History, Page 2