Today, in fact, right now, thousands of devices or appliances are being made or invented. Unless your parents or yourself work in an electronics factory, we are normally unaware of these things. The fact is, our everyday surroundings, for most of us lucky ones, are mostly electronic. And if anything you should have learned from this site, it is that electronic devices contain thousands, if not millions of transistors.

In fact, to explain the extent to which transistors extend in our lives, provided at the bottom of the page is a list of different devices or appliances that are found in our everyday lives.

The first commercial application of transistors was telephone equipment, which was made reality in the 1950's. These consisted of rural telephone carrier amplifiers and headset amplifiers for operators. The transistorized hearing aid was developed by Alexander Graham Bell, who fought a life-long struggle to help the hearing-impaired.

1954 was the year the transistor became popular culture, with transistorized radios coming out in that year. It was also instrumental in devices such as TV’s, portable radios, radars, computers, clocks and cameras. It was also this year that IBM announced that they would no longer be using vacuum tubes in their computers and released the first fully transistorized computer onto the market. It had about 2,000 transistors in it.

It was in 1961, actually, that the real big breakthrough came in transistor technology. This was the invention of the integrated circuit. The integrated circuit is a group of transistors and other manufacturable electronic components arranged in a certain way on a silicon wafer, complete with wiring. This invention revolutionised transistor technology and spurred on the evolution of the Information Age. In fact, every major information age invention was made possible by the development of the transistor. It has been an invisible technology that is part of nearly every electronic device, ranging from car ignitions, to satellites, to Porsches and networks.

What this all means is that, in the place of the room you are sitting in, you would be sitting on a rock, holding a club and wearing a leopard skin. Okay, maybe that is an exaduration, but I’ll leave it up to your imagination to see where mankind would have progressed to were it not for the transistor.

Here is a very short list naming some of the devices or appliances affected or directly developed as a result of the invention of the transistor:


space exploration
cellular phones
personal computers
video cameras
portable television and radios
many kitchen convenience items
ATM banking
pacemakers, EKGs, EEG, CAT
ultra-sound & medical imaging
ABS braking systems
airbags and anti-theft devices
fiber optics and undersea cable
wireless & cordless systems
computer networks & the Internet
remote controls of all types
safe, reliable jet travel
cable television
hand-held calculators & PDAs
sound systems, hi-fidelity
satellite broadcasting
measurement systems, surveying
high tech amusements rides
climate control equipment
recording devices
modern manufacturing equipment
electronic auto ignition systems
car instrumentation panels
fax machines
touch-tone dialing
wireless microphones/earphones
children’s games
electronic scoreboards/billboards
precision timing for sports events
precise navigational equipment
smoke/gas detectors
night-vision technology
photocopy machines
CAD drawing
Global Positioning System (GPS)
low pollution gasoline automobiles
colour & high definition TV (HDTV)
… and thousands more …