… or more precisely: a short vacuum tube history

vacuum tube history

vacuum tube history

vacuum tube history

vacuum tube history

vacuum tube history

Thomas Alva Edison
The Light Bulb (1879)

John Ambrose Fleming
The Diode (1904)

Lee De Forest
The Triode (1906)

Walter H. Schottky
The Tetrode (1919)

Bernard D. H. Tellegen
The Pentode (1926)

This small serie of articles has the sole purpose to give an overview of the vacuum tube history… or the valve history (for our British glass lover friends).
Many developments are missing, maybe even whole chapters. Nonetheless this will give a good idea of the different steps that lead to the tube as it is known nowadays.

It might seem ironic to mention on this very site that, apart from theoretical physics, the main goal of the early tubes manufacturers was not high fidelity. Not even musical diffusion. Their main goal was communication, wired or wireless, as you’ll see if you read further.

The early days of electronic were thrilling. The discoveries in theoretical and applied physics happened on an almost daily basis. What was discovered in those days became the foundation of everyone’s life for almost a century, and are still of great importance today. Without the thermionic valve, no experiments on the electron. Without some insight on the electron’s nature, no Bohr model. Thus no research on semi conductivity, and no transistors… Actually everything, including our modern PC’s, started with a simple light bulb.

Enjoy the time trip.