As a spin-off from the Typotron thread, I thought, it may be a fun exercise to come up with a timeline of favorite technology suffixes by era.
In said thread a mysterious IBM labeled CRT tube was identified as a Typotron, which is somewhat of a combination of a Memotron storage tube and a Charactron display.
Which caused @whartung to observe,
Just going to sit here and marvel about the age when appending tron to everything made it high tech and all advanced.
And @EdS came up with a bit of detail,
About the -tron naming: you led me down a bit of a rabbit hole @whartung. I think it goes back to the Cyclotron “named as laboratory slang 1” although it’s possible the Pelletron or the Laddertron were earlier, and we’re back in the 1930s if not the 20s. All of them are particle accelerators: as is a CRT! So calling any CRT a -tron is consistent with that coinage. Although I still don’t know where it comes from, we do know the electron - a convenient particle to accerate - was named in 1891.
Inspired by a paper from Norwegian engineer Rolf Wideroe, Lawrence invented a unique circular particle accelerator, which he referred to as his “proton merry-go-round,” but which became better known as the cyclotron . The first cyclotron was a pie-shaped concoction of glass, sealing wax, and bronze.
“tron” was the In suffix of the early 1960s
However, -tron was by no means the first and only such suffix.
E.g, before -tron, there was -ic (as in ASDIC for Anti Submarine Detection, um, “-ic” — -ic may have a loose connection to sound as in “sonic”), and later -tron faced some competition in -o-rama, at least in immersive media applications. In the 1970s -omat enjoyed some use (with “2000” added as a bonus when it really mattered), and there was -otronic even before this. And, of course, there was -omatic.
Are there any others? (There must be!) Can we attach these to eras and key technologies?