Flamingo Software Email

Misc. Item Detail

Item #


1954 Junction Transistor # 1858 by Bell Labs



Price $


This is a beautiful display of the 1954 Junction # 1858 Transistor by Bell Labs that helped revolutionize the direction of computing.  The 1954 Junction transistor was the first reliable transistor.  It was invented by William Shockley who was a co-inventor of the original point contact transistor.  The point contact transistor was difficult to produce and was somewhat unreliable in its operating characteristics.  The Junction’s solid construction was the key factor in stabilizing the operating characteristics of the transistor.  The Junction transistor was built with a grown crystal of negative doped germanium and positive doped germanium.  These alternating areas of negative and positive germanium created the transistor effect.  When an input current was drawn from the base lead, which was connected to the p-doped section of the crystal, the switched current was allowed to flow from the emitter lead to the collector lead.  This is an incredible display of an original 1954 Junction Transistor using a high powered microscope to photograph and has provenance notes on back and on front.  Art works starts with a microscopic view of the Transistor.  The 1858, included in this artwork, was an early Bell Labs transistor. Made by Western Electric, AT&T’s manufacturing company, the 1858 saw very limited production and was not released for general use.  The 1858 uses color coded dots to identify the unit.  Early transistors as those used the same color codes used on resistors.  The “gray” is 8 and “green” 5 and the 1 is assumed.  This transistor has never been used and tests as operational.  The date code on the back of the transistor and on its original box (also included) is 4-54. The 4-54 code tells us that this transistor was made in April of 1954, over 51 years ago.  The image was created by photographing the chip using a microscope and special lighting.  The colors come from the prism effect created by the lighting and the layered manufacturing process of computer chips.  The photograph is magnified picture of the transistor package with the can removed.  The chip can be seen in the center of the header.  The artwork is professionally framed in a wood 8"x10" box frame with glass.  The title board, smaller picture and mounted transistor are raised by about 1/4” off the background and appear to be floating.  A narrative is included on the back of the frame which has information about the artwork and the artist's signature.  These 51+ year old Junction Transistors are seldom found and this is truly a beautiful piece of history for museum or professional collectors display.

Photos and Descriptions Copyright Protected by New Beginning Antiques.