Artifact Details


CK703 Point contact transistor

Catalog Number



Physical Object


Ratheon Semiconductor Division


overall: 1/4 in x 2 in x 3 1/2 in


The object consists of eight developmental point contact germanium transistors, Type CK703 of CK716. These were the first point contact transistors on the market.

Per Jack Ward, Transistor Museum - "developmental germanium PNP point contact transistors. 1948-1951. The Raytheon CK703 has the memorable distinction of being the first transistor sold commercially, announced late in 1948. This is very early in the transistor history timeline – note that the first public announcement of the invention of the transistor was at a June 1948 Western Electric/Bell Labs press conference held in New York City. This first transistor technology was known as point contact, which consisted of two sharpened metallic points held under pressure onto a small germanium block. Severe performance and manufacturing difficulties limited the commercial use of point contact transistors, but these types represent the first transistor technology and are very historic. The Raytheon CK716 was an improved version of the CK703 and became available in 1951. The units in this lot are not labeled by type, and may be either CK703 or CK716. Note the formal labeling identifying these units with a number id. This methodology suggests that these units were used in an engineering study to document performance characteristics, which varied widely in point contact transistors. Very rare (CK703), likely only a few hundred sold. Rare (CK716), likely only a few thousand sold."



Collection Title

The Paul Sullivan Collection of Early Semiconductors


Gift of Pat Sullivan Belotti

Lot Number