And as far as consumer electronics (which is the industry that has been
"lost"--the US still makes radars and whatnot just fine) the US consumer
electronics industry shot itself in the foot by not jumping on the solid
state bandwagon when transistors first came out. I don't blame that
Japanese for that at all--they were working hard at coming up with
innovative new products while the US consumer electronics industry was
On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 07:05:14 -0400, "J. Clarke"
hahaha... I got a laugh out of this.
Its not that the US industry was caught flat footed. The US was
innovating... Doing everything to fight the transistor.
First there was the Compactron tube. Remember those... It jammed the
functionality of multiple tubes into one envelope and cost a fortune
Then there was a whole slew of 1 volt filament tubes that enabled the
US industry to make "portable" radios that ran off a bunch of D cells
and a 45v B battery.
And finally there was the "Nuvistor". It's name even sounds like
Transistor. It was a teeny little tube designed specifically to fight
against the transistor. It looked just like a transistor too.
So yep, we killed ourselves. But it's not that we weren't innovating.
It's just that we were innovating the wrong things.
I think the previous wasn't particularly accurate assessment of the
overall state of affairs. Philco had the Transac S-2000 series computer
out which included them new-fangled solid state devices quite early
(1958). They had hybrid models of the series even earlier (showing my
age, I used them... :) ).
The application in consumer products was a different story as the
economics weren't the same.
I don't know whether you wish to consider the automotive alternator a
consumer product or not, but like the automotive radio, we can thank
Motorola for its existance..
For the alternator to be practical, a 3 phase rectifier bridge was
Prior to the solid state rectifier, germanium was used, which was a
There simply is enough germanium to satisfy automotive production for
a year, thus pricing restricted it's use to police and emergency
When the solid state 25A, push in diode became available, it sold for
$100 + $1/PIV and you needed 100PIV.
Thus a solid state diode was $200 ea or $1,200/bridge.
Needless to say, those early diodes were guarded with great care by
With that as the background, in walks Motorola to the big 3 with a
You guarantee Motorola 10,000,000 units/year, we will build a plant
and sell diodes to you for $0.25 EACH.
Thus the automotive alternator became a reality.
On Tue, 16 Jun 2009 17:35:38 +0100, J. Clarke wrote
I predict that in the near future every home will have one, and housewives
wearing silver-foil jump-suits will use them for the household accounts or
while away their leisure time playing chess with them or storing recipes in
the memory tanks which can easiy be refilled and upgraded by having mercury
delivered to the door just as today we have milk...
They will even be able to play a selection of melodies on the household piano
by means of an attachment which fits over the keys and faithfully replays
compositions stored in the memory tanks. Now every home will be able to have
The control bank will fit neatly in beside the wireless telegraphy televisual
receiving apparatus and the radium-ray steak cooker so housewives can easily
pause for the hour when it is time for the picture information broadcast
which will, it is envisaged, come into their homes every single day to
deliver government news and messages from friends and family - except Sunday,
of course, when the flow of electricity will be stopped as a mark of respect.
What excitement tomorrow promises, thanks to the miracle of the electron and
the vision of us here at the Omnivac Corporation of America!
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