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The Point-Contact Transistor's (Only)

Moment of Glory



Four years after its invention, Bell Labs decided that it was able to make point-contact transistors cheaply and efficiently enough to use them in the phone system.  In 1952, Western Electric began to incorporate the transistors into its complex switching equipment used to make long distance calls. 

As it was, the junction transistor was fast gaining on the point-contact version.  Those in the know already suspected that the junction transistor would end up being more useful.  In fact, other than at Western Electric and in some hearing aids, the point-contact transistor was destined to never really enter the public marketplace. 

-- Crystal Fire by Michael Riordan and Lillian Hoddeson  

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