Once upon a time there was a bitter, brilliant and ambitious man named William Shockley. It was his team at Bell Labs that "invented" the transistor. Shockley was project manager, but it appears that Bardeen and Brattain did nearly all of the real work developing the first transistor, though based upon some of Shockley's earlier physics; Shockley's work was headed in an unfruitful direction at the time. Shockley managed to wangle himself into the glory and Nobel Prize post facto, mainly through politics.
Before he embarked upon his mean-spirited endorsement of race-based intelligence theories, he persued a pet project, the four-layer diode, as an all- (or multi-) purpose amplifier and switch. It went the way of other dodo birds like the unijunction and tunnel diode, only less useful.
Contained here is a catalog of Clevite-Shockley products; Clevite bought the Shockley Transistor Company in 1960. I have a Shockley Transistor Company catalog from 1958 or so, but I cannot find it right now, but I'll scan it and put it here when I do.
You can read about the story of the transistor and Shockley's antics in Michael Riordan and Lillian Hoddeson's excellent book Crystal Fire.
|Shockley/Clevite semiconductor catalog|