Sunday, December 16, 2007

It was sixty years ago today: The Birth of Sandstate

Ye Olde Vacuum Tube: We Will Keep the Valve Fires Burning

It was sixty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the amp to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Sgt. Pepper's Transistor Club Band.
--All apologies.

Sixty years ago, on Dec. 16, 1947, three physicists at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., built the world's first transistor. William Shockley, John Bardeen and William Brattain had been looking for a semiconductor amplifier to take the place of the vacuum tubes that made radios and other electronics so impossibly bulky, hot and power hungry. They were so instantly certain they'd found their answer that they didn't speak a word of it to anyone for six months, until they could experiment further and apply for patents.

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