🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

From This Collection

Tracing the history of electronics through the Old Calculator Web Museum

"The first digital use of the transistor for consumers was in a calculator," says Rick Bensene, curator of the Old Calculator Web Museum.
Back in the 1970s, the first microprocessors and transistor technology were breaking ground in calculators.
MarioGuti via Getty Images

The transistor's story is one of innovation and immigration

Mohamed Atalla of Egypt and Dawon Kahng of Korea are responsible for the technology that helped harness the transistor's power.
The technology developed by two immigrants at Bell Labs in 1959 allowed transistors to become small enough so that more could fit on a microprocessor.
krystiannawrocki/Getty Images

The transistor's role in the birth of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley exists for a number of reasons. Chief among them might be the mother of a Nobel Prize winner.
Companies like Intel were born from the semiconductor revolution. But how did silicon — and the transistor — end up in California?
David McNew/Newsmakers via Getty Images

Taking the transistor mainstream with music on the go

The transistor starts to shine when Texas Instruments asks Regency to make a radio for more mobile listening.
The Regency TR-1 was the first commercially manufactured transistor radio.
Joe Haupt via Wikimedia Commons

What does Nokia Bell Labs look like 75 years since the transistor's invention?

It's responsible for the transistor, information theory, pioneering satellite work and more.
Today, Bell Labs is owned by Nokia. The research company is working on 6G mobile phone technology and a cellular network on the moon, among other things.
Alex Schroeder/Marketplace

Bell Labs: The research center behind the transistor, and so much more

Bell Labs was the research arm of AT&T, a monopoly at the time the transistor was invented.
Physicists John Bardeen (left), William Shockley (center) and Walter Brattain won the Nobel Prize for their work on the transistor. It's one of nine Nobel Prizes that Bell Labs researchers have received.
Nokia USA Inc. and AT&T Archives

For public good, not for profit.

75 years ago, the transistor ignited the fire of modern innovation

The transistor was born in 1947 at Bell Labs in New Jersey. We're looking into the culture of innovation that made it possible.
Nokia Bell Labs still has the first transistor, which was invented in 1947. Here's David Brancaccio holding it at the company's campus in Murray Hill, New Jersey.
Alex Schroeder/Marketplace