In the eye of a needle above is a transistor switch that can turn on or off in ten billionths of a second. It is an example of the micro-miniature devices that Western Electric makes today for the new Electronic Switching Systems now being put into service in the Bell telephone network. Life-size, the unit shown is scarcely larger than the period that ends this sentence. ? Producing electronic components that are nearly invisible to the naked eye calls for the ultimate in manufacturing care and precision at Western Electric, the Bell System’s manufacturing and supply unit.

Moreover, the ingenuity of our teammates at Bell Telephone Laboratories continues to yield communications products so unique that completely new techniques are needed to translate them into volume production. Working closely with people at Bell Labs, Western Electric’s engineers must develop the new machines and processes to do the job. ? Thus telephone teamwork brings new ideas into everyday reality. Result: your Bell telephone company is better able to provide you with continually new and reliable communications services, when and where you need them.

  1. Hirudinea says: July 5, 20113:01 pm

    Obviously the title wasn’t written by a woman!

  2. Don F says: July 5, 20115:19 pm

    For 1965 . . . IMPRESSIVE.

    For today . . . HUGE and SLOW.

    Tha’s progress . . . .

  3. TomLR says: July 6, 20114:06 pm

    I was early for a piano lesson in Spring of ’65. I remember looking through this issue of Nat Geo while I waited for the previous student to finish up. When I came to this ad I thought about the vacuum tubes I helped my father test and replace in our TV, and I sat there trying to adjust my thumb and finger so that I could visualize just how tiny this component was. I think all I knew was that a transistor was somehow similar to one of those vacuum tubes. I was amazed.

    Don’t think I ever got my measuring device calibrated though. And like Don F said, for 1965 impressive. I think about the microscopic transistors on the i5 processor in my computer. Hell, I can’t even tell you how many there are.

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