Artifact Details


1729 Germanium transistors

Catalog Number



Physical Object


Circa 1950 - 1951


Western Electric Co.

Place Manufactured


Identifying Numbers

Other number 15C On one of the pieces.
Other number 17C On one of the pieces.
Other number 21C On one of the pieces.
Other number 2C On one of the pieces.
Other number 33C On one of the pieces.
Other number 36C On one of the pieces.
Other number 42C On one of the pieces.
Other number 43C On one of the pieces.
Other number 8C On one of the pieces.


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


The object consists of nine pieces. The objects are cartridge-type, point-contact germanium transistors.

Per Jack Ward, Transistor Museum -
"Western Electric Pre-Production Type 1729 (9 pieces), developmental germanium PNP point contact transistors. 1951-1953. Shortly after the June 1948 public announcement of the invention of the transistor by Western Electric, this legendary company began development of initial pre-production devices, more robust that the first experimental units, that could be used by device engineers and circuit designers to better understand the performance characteristics of this new technology. One of the first of these pre-production types was the 1729, with exploratory data sheets dated as early as 1951. These 9 units in this lot are very early examples of the metal cartridge case style developed by Western Electric for the first production point contact transistors. The 1729 was used extensively for circuit application development purposes and was later released as the more standard 2N25 type. One of the units in this lot is hand labeled as “1729” – the other units have more formal paper labels identifying these units with a number “id”. This methodology suggests that these units were used in an engineering study. Rare – these types of pre-production point contact transistors were produced only in the early 1950s and the few remaining units provide a “hands-on” look at the first transistors."



Collection Title

The Paul Sullivan Collection of Early Semiconductors


Gift of Pat Sullivan Belotti

Lot Number