In The Wild World Of Tech, What Is July Noted For?

Ah yes, July. Independence day, fireworks, the beach, backyard barbecues, beer, soda, and stronger libations, funny cars, and one of the greatest sports events ever: watching individuals pound as many hot dogs as possible down their gullets for fame, fortune, and the occasional case of pancreatitis. At Sensors Expo West two weeks ago and in casual business conversations this summer, I asked quite a few people in the tech business – engineers, designers, EOEMs, vendors, distributers, marketing and PR people, etc. – what July is significant for in the tech business.


I will grant you, history was not one of my best subjects in school and I never have expectations of others in the same vein. I’m not amazed by how many people are not even somewhat familiar with their country’s history, at least on quiz shows like Jeopardy. I’m one of them …… except when it comes to things that interest me, like electronics, medicine, and music.

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Okay, big deal, what happened to the tech industry in July? On July 1, 1948, Bell Telephone Laboratories issued a press release that introduced the tech world to a little invention called the transistor. Actually, the first working device, a point-contact transistor, was invented in 1947 by physicists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley.


Prototype of the first working transistor.



Nothing major right? Just a couple of physicists sitting around, not having to worry about the Internet and search engines, inventing a device that would not only change the world, but create new ones. Just a device that had it not been invented at all, smartphones and tablet PCs would look awful funny with vacuum tubes installed, many marketing and PR people would be grasping at different sets of straws, and all guitar amps would sound great. It’s all good fun.


That original press release in a PDF version is available for download. Happy July! ~MD

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