Invention of the Phototransistor

March 30, 1950

Bell Telephone Labs announces the phototransistor, invented by Dr. John Northrup Shive. Often called an “electric eye”, a phototransistor is activated by light rather than electricity. It found early use in telephone switching systems for long distance service, allowing operators to quickly direct dial phones in distant cities. Today phototransistors find many uses in a variety of technologies such as computers, robotics, and industry.