In my opinion, the best historical information about the transistor is to be found on the pbs site. This is a non-profit media enterprise owned and operated by the US public television stations.

Bell Laboratories, the home of the transistor, is now part of Lucent Technology. It has a website that describes the discovery of the transistor only very briefly.

The ThinkQuest site Trailing the Transistor provides comprehensive information on transistor technology and history at both basic and advanced level.

I'm frequently asked "what type is transistor XYZ" or "what modern type could be substituted for XYZ". Sadly, I often cannot answer because devices in commercial equipment often bore only internal part numbers which were never made public. However, for public part numbers the Web has several sites that document both modern and obsolete types. In my opinion the best of these is datasheetarchive which has a wealth of ever-increasing data, and is even scanning old data books and using them to add vintage devices.

If you are desperate, for devices from several standard series, the part number itself gives information about the type of device.

A friend of mine, Jack Ward, has a Web site devoted entirely to the CK722. It contains a lot of images and information, some of it quite surprising, for example the "transistor within a transistor". He has also developed an extensive online museum of early transistors with many fascinating images and oral histories from people involved in the early industry.

Another afficionado, Bob McGarrah, has a great site showing many historic devices and fascinating early advertisements and other material.

Wumpus Old Radio World includes very interesting information on old German transistors amongst other historic information.

Sergei Frolov has a site showing early Soviet Union transistors and diodes. A good excuse to try automatic translation, from babelfish amongst others.

Mark Burgess, a New Zealander, has a site on transistor history including the Australian manufacturer AWA and European representation of STC, Philips, and CSF down under.

Mike's Electric Stuff shows old advertisements, including some of the first UK transistors and diodes. (Plus loads of other neat and dangerous electric experiments!)

There are so many sites that deal with early transistor radios that it is hard to list any without being unfair to the others, and anyway that is not the subject of my own particular obsession. However, I must mention the extravagant Enrico Tedeschi's fascinating site, the magnificent Radio Wallah collection, and the comprehensive Childhood Radios site. All three have lists of links to many other sites.

Also, Brian Page's "gladly learn" site includes scans of classic early transistor booklets by Raytheon and Sylvania.

In the UK, Pete Roberts offers a specialist repair service for classic transistor radios from the funky Fifties, the swinging Sixties as well as the sexy Seventies! All types fixed, especially those fabulous pocket trannies we also used to listen to Luxy 208 under the pillow.

This page lists other Web sites that contain interesting information about early transistors and their applications.




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