The Bipolar Junction Transistor - An Electronic Value


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About this Artwork

This artwork is a mixed media display celebrating the Bipolar Junction Transistor. The Junction transistor was the first reliable transistor. It was invented by William Shockley who was a co-inventor of the original point contact transistor. The point contact transistor was difficult to produce and was somewhat variable in its operating characteristics. The Junction's solid construction was the key factor in stabilizing the operating characteristics of the transistor. The Junction transistor was built with a grown crystal of negative doped germanium and positive doped germanium. These alternating areas of negative and positive germanium created the transistor effect. When an input current was drawn from the base lead, which was connected to the p-doped section of the crystal, the switched current was allowed to flow from the emitter lead to the collector lead.

This artwork includes 3 major items. It has an image of the internals (inside the can) of a Bipolar Junction Transistor. On the back are the artist’s signature and a narrative describing the artwork and the Bipolar Junction Transistor. Also, the artwork includes a NOS 1858 Bipolar Junction Transistor.

The 1858 was an early Bell Labs transistor. Made by Western Electric, AT&T’s manufacturing company, the 1858 saw very limited production and was not released for general use. The 1858 uses color coded dots to identify the unit. Early transistors as those used the same color codes used on resistors. The “gray” is 8 and “green” 5 and the 1 is assumed. This transistor has never been used and tests as operational. The date code on the back of the transistor. The 4-54 code tells us that this transistor was made in April of 1954, over 50 years ago.


    The artwork is framed in an 11"x14" black shadow box frame, with glass. All framing materials are acid-free. A narrative about the artwork that includes the artist’s signature is placed on the back of the artwork.

    Please note:  The look of the artifacts in the artworks may vary, each piece is unique. The game title in the photographs is on the one you will receive.