Well, I probably would not even be writing this section were it not for the transistor. First of all, phone receivers and broadcasters were devices that were invented as a direct result of the transistor. The transistor’s ability to act as a semiconductor or an insulator when required solved many problems that inventors had with different crystal elements. Therefore, without phones, no phone lines would be created, which means no Internet, e-mail nor faxes. The lack of signal receivers in phones mean that cellphones would not be in effect, which as we all know, play a large role in the working world.


Of all the military appliances, for lack of a better word, probably the handheld radio was the most used when troops went out onto the battlefield. They needed to keep in contact with their commanders, bases and other members of their troop. The transistor was instrumental in the development of the this radio, because of it’s broadcasting and receiving qualities, just as it is now used in telephones.

In the hi-tech world that we live in today, the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS, could neither be invented were it not for the transistor. It is used extensively in the military to track their navy and air forces, and gives assistance in directing airplanes and other methods of transport for better routes to their destinations. As we all know, this technology is now also used in the more expensive luxury cars from car manufacturers such as Lexus, Mercedes and BMW. At the same time, speaking of cars, the car ignition would not be available were it not for the invention of the transistor. It’s all well and good to build a car, but the most important thing is that it works, and to do that, you have to start it!


What we know as the stock market today would not be around. Simply because, as you may know, the stock markets rely on up-to-the-minute changes in the value of shares - this is what you depend on to get your weekly wages or monthly salaries. All this information is relayed very efficiently by computers, and as you probably know by now, no transistors - no computers. What this means is that the global economy would definitely not be as we know today, however good or bad that is.

Entertainment and Technology

This is probably the largest and most expansive section that the invention of the transistor has graced. There are so many different sub-sections to this one, but I will name a few. First, there is obviously computers, and frankly, you wouldn’t be reading this right now were not for the transistor. A computer is basically made up only of transistors. Computers use small devices like microprocessors and integrated circuits. These hold millions of transistors, and in fact, an entry-level Intel chip (microprocessor) consists of about 7 million transistors, so you can just imagine how many are in the whole computer. From graphics cards that run the latest games, to 800W speakers, anything that has a circuit has transistors. Another huge form of entertainment is radio. Hi-fi’s, mini hi-fi’s, radios, and car radios would definitely not be inexistence were it not for the transistor. In fact, one of the first transistorized inventions, the fully transistorized radio, along with the first fully transistorized radio, were released in 1954, just a year after the first transistor device - the hearing aid - was invented.
We all realise how much radio is used not only for entertainment, but also for news, and undoubtedly this was an invention much needed for the future progress of mankind.

The press, the most widely used media format, would also not be in existence, and we can give you reasons why:

1) The mechanical devices that are used today (computers, printing machines, etc.) would not have been invented, this alone would be a deciding factor in whether the newspaper was ever even thought of.

2) Since communications would have not been possible, except for snail mail and word-of-mouth, we would not get up-to the minute news of events happening on the other side of the world. We would be getting a weekly or monthly newspaper telling us what happened 2 weeks before, and even this would not be possible due to the lack of machinery to print this, as stated above. And finally, one of the most widely used tools today, the Internet, would not be in existence for obvious reasons. Without computers, the idea would never have even been thought of, and what a fortunate thing it was! Were it not for computers and the Internet, and of course the invention of the transistor, I would not be able to sit here and tell you about how great an invention it was.


What all this tells you, and I am sure you are aware, is that without the invention of the transistor, basically everything that contains a circuit would either not be in existence, or they would definitely not be nearly as developed as they are today. Computers, probably the most important device used in the world today, would not be around, and as you have read, it would be very detrimental to the development of the world around us. As you can see, behind the scenes of every category of life that use electronic devices, most of which I have not named here, is a tiny, microscopic semiconductor device known as - the transistor. You can decide for yourself whether you would want to live in the pre- or post-transistor                                                     world.

Robert Brattain, brother of Walter, was asked to envisage a world without transistors: "If the transistor were abolished tomorrow, you would not be recording this; we would have not been on the moon; we would not send things around Jupiter; we wouldn't have computers on my desk downstairs that are more powerful than the one that we spent a million and a half dollars for at the laboratories." - Robert Brattain