Artifact Details


TA165K Germanium point-contact transistors

Catalog Number



Physical Object


Circa 1952


RCA Corporation

Place Manufactured


Identifying Numbers

Model number TA165K
Serial number 3653
Serial number 3657
Serial number 3660
Serial number 3662


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


The object consists of four pieces. These transistors were used in computer applications.

Per Jack Ward, Transistor Museum -
"RCA TA165K (4 pieces), developmental germanium PNP point contact transistors. Early 1950s. The TA165 was the first RCA developmental point contact transistor with initial units built by Bob Slade’s transistor group established at the Harrison NJ RCA Tube Division. Mr. Slade documented the development of this transistor in the article “A method for Improving the Electrical and Mechanical Stability of Point Contact Transistors”, by B.N. Slade, RCA Review, December, 1951. The first units were encased in an amber epoxy, while later units contained a white pigment. Several thousand of this type were built and the main purpose was to supply functioning transistors to RCA circuit engineers for developing applications such as radios and digital circuits. It is likely that the TA165 was the prototype for the commercialized 2N32. No date codes are indicated on these transistors, but each is hand-serialized: S/Ns: 3657, 3662, 3653, 3660. Rare – These are unique developmental devices from the first days of the RCA transistor program, established in the early 1950s. Likely only a few thousand of these transistors were made, with later devices identified with the more standard “2N” labeling."



Collection Title

The Paul Sullivan Collection of Early Semiconductors


Gift of Pat Sullivan Belotti

Lot Number