Transistor Pioneer Norman Krim Dies, Aged 98

Norman Krim, one of the minds responsible for the success of the transistor as a replacement for vacuum tubes in electronics, has died aged 98.

While not responsible for the invention of the transistor, the Raytheon and RadioShack veteran convinced his employer to mass produce transistors having quickly ascertained their potential for the miniaturisation of electronics.

When a batch manufactured by Raytheon proved too 'noisy' for use in their originally intended market - hearing aids - Krim marketed them directly to hobbyists through publications including Popular Science and Radio Electronics, kick-starting the home-brew culture that would breed a generation of engineers familiar with transistor technology.

"The result was that a whole generation of aspiring engineers - kids, really, working in their garages and basements - got to make all kinds of electronic projects," Harry Goldstien, editor of the IEEE Spectrum, told the New York Times upon news of Krim's death. "A lot of them went on to become engineers."

The New York Times reports that Krim was found dead of congestive heart failure at his retirement home in Newton, Massachusetts on 14th December. Krim is survived by his sons Robert and Arthur, and four grandchildren.