PCGH Retro: The first transistor is working
Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on December 16?
...1947: Without it modern computers would not be possible: On December 16 the transistor is finally born. Although the patent for the little switch is granted several years later, the first prototype is working in the Bell laboratories. John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley had been searching for an alternative to the big and frail vacuum tube, which most of the early computers were based on. On this day it occurs to them to use conductive Germanium - and it works; the first transistor is working. Later the Germanium is replaced with the less frail Silicon, but nevertheless this step in development is the breakthrough for the component that later will make the computer revolution possible.