On playing bridge with Walter Brattain and John Bardeen: 
 "They were very good players, but they were a little boring to play with because they were the slowest and most deliberate players in the group.  Bardeen was particularly analytical, and he was very deliberate about any card he played, and usually by the third round of cards, he had analyzed what everybody in the foursome had."  -- Arthur Torsiglieri, interview for "Transistorized!"  


Arthur Torsiglieri 

Arthur Torsiglieri was a patent lawyer at Bell Labs who worked closely with the transistor patents. He wasn't there for the very first patent applications on the point-contact transistor and the junction transistor, but he was involved with everything thereafter. 

While Torsiglieri was in law school at Harvard he took a course in patent law from a patent lawyer at AT&T.  After the course was over, the professor invited a select few from the class to interview at Bell. Torsiglieri took the opportunity and was hired in the spring of 1949. 
Torsiglieri said that Bell was considered one of the foremost industrial research laboratories in the world and so it was a very interesting place to work.  He became friendly with John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, sometimes playing bridge with them.  He worked with William Shockley on his patents for many years, and was even offered a job to go work at Shockley Semiconductor labs when Shockley founded the company.  Torsiglieri chose to stay on the east coast, and remained with Bell for the rest of his career. 

Torsiglieri said that in the 1970s, he received a phone call from William Shockley.  It was long after Shockley had left Bell Labs, but Shockley had recently looked over his patents and had a question.  He wanted to know if there was any way his patent for the junction transistor could override Brattain and Bardeen's patent for the point-contact transistor. Torsiglieri told him that his patents did not supercede Brattain and Bardeen's, and that seems to be the last time Shockley tried to get sole responsibility for inventing the transistor.

-- Arthur Torsiglieri, interview for "Transistorized!"

Copyright 1999, ScienCentral, Inc, and The American Institute of Physics. No portion of this web site may be reproduced without written permission. All Rights Reserved.