The Transistor (1953 Promotional Film)

If we cast our minds back to the early years of the transistor, the year that is always quoted is 1947, during which a Bell Labs team developed the first practical germanium point-contact transistor. They would go on to be granted the Nobel Prize for their work in 1956, but the universal adoption of their invention was not an instantaneous process. Instead there would be a gradual change from vacuum to solid state that would span the 1950s and the 1960s, and even in the 1970s you might still have found mainstream devices on sale containing vacuum tubes.

Watch the Bell Labs promotional film, and read more!

— courtesy, author Jenny List

And, when you’re done with that, here’s another essay and AT&T promotional film on the Genesis of the Transistor from Hackaday’s Kristina Panos.

Shakes, Cones, and Salvation

The order for the Mister Softee ice cream trucks specified that they be built on a 1-ton Ford commercial truck chassis, and utilize their heavy duty 262 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine.

The trucks would eventually be fitted with a stainless counter, functional sink with potable water, a generator, and soft serve / freezer machine. The mobile kitchen would be able to serve several hundred people with fresh food without having to replenish supplies back at headquarters.

It was this capability that made the Mister Softee appealing to Civil Defense coordinators during the cold war era. Mister Softee, it appears, would soon roll up his sleeves and help make America safer.

Read More!

Revisiting Camille

WSR-57 image of Hurricane Camille at 2115 UTC 17 Aug 1969 from the Fleet Weather Facility Pensacola FPS-41 radar – Courtesy American Meteorological Society website

“With the passage of almost 50 years and the recent memory of a number of major hurricane landfalls along the northern Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle, including Dennis and Ivan in 2004, and Katrina and Rita in 2005, and, further back, Andrew in 1992, Elena in 1985, and Frederick in 1979, Hurricane Camille in 1969 may not come readily to mind, except for those who lived through it. But for tropical meteorologists, Hurricane Camille holds a continuing fascination as one of the most intense U.S.-landfalling hurricanes on record and for a number of mysteries associated with its meteorological statistics and best-track record.”

A reanalysis of 1969’s Hurricane Camille has been completed as part of the Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. A modern look at one of the United States’ most destructive hurricanes indicates that it was deeper than, but not quite as intense as, originally estimated.

Margaret E. Kieper, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, and  Christopher W. Landsea and John L. Beven NOAA/NWS/NCEP/National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida have published through the American Meteorological Society, A Reanalysis of Hurricane Camille.

Bring a lunch, you may not want to take a break from reading.

-h/t to @NWSNHC