The evolution: from T to t to c


The Vacuum Tube (left) of the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Transistor (middle) of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and Chip Transistor (that little dot at right). At first, transistors, whose wire connector legs made them look like spiders, were wired with other components on circuit cards to form logic and control elements of processors. Starting with the IBM System/360 in 1964, circuits were closely combined on half-inch ceramic modules. The era of microelectronics had begun.


Starting just before the 8min mark of this film there’s a quick run-through of technological development, from the perspective of 1970:

And for further entertainment, here’s a 1950’s film showing valve (tube) manufacture:

And here’s the excellent Bill Hammack on the very first transistor:

And here’s AT&T explaining the transistor to a general audience, in 1953:

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