Happy Birthday, Vacuum Tube!

RCA12ax7On November 16, 1904, British engineer John Ambrose Fleming patented the vacuum tube {wiki}. This ushered in the age of modern electronics, leading to the development of radio, TV, and other forms of electronic equipment. Vacuum tubes were standard until the advent of the transistor. The US Supreme Court eventually invalidated Fleming’s patent, but he is still known as the inventor of the vacuum tube. http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/11/dayintech_1116

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There were many developments in electron tubes. But the 'great inflation' from a market perspective was when the BBC got started at the turn of the prior century, and had a program to build every household in England a radio.
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The other day my computer started to kernel panic every 5 to 10 minutes. My tech guy diagnosed bad ram. I needed to get working ASAP, and it just so happened that the company I bough the Ram from was only an hour away, so I drove down to get a replacement. The place was full of vacuum tube radios. I loved the contrast between these wafers packed with the tiniest electronics and these radios as big as furniture filled with these ancient tubes.
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