Remembering Transistor Pioneer Norman Krim

Photo Credit: Don Bernstein/Raytheon Company

Right before the Christmas holidays, Norm Krim, a pioneer of transistor technology and the father of the CK722 PNP Germanium Junction Transistor, died. He was 98 years old. IEEE Spectrum has a nice little “In Memoriam” piece which even includes a shout-out to MAKE (Krim was an early champion of DIY electronics and pushed to market the CK722 to hobbyists in the early 1950s):

Finally, consider that Krim’s only hiatus from his 75-year career at Raytheon was a brief stint as CEO of RadioShack, which he sold to the Tandy Corporation in 1962. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to credit him with laying the groundwork for the DIY identity that long defined the Shack or the DIY movement now championed by our friends at MAKE magazine. But whether Krim winds up in the pantheon of EE giants is of little real consequence to the generation of engineers he inspired (not to mention all the people who benefited from the hearing aids he helped produce over the years). Norm Krim was a mensch and he is missed.

In Memoriam: Norman Krim

Also check out: The Irresistible Transistor (about the birth of the CK722) and the New York Times piece on Krim’s passing.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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