Profile America — Sunday, December 22nd. One of the most important inventions of modern times was announced 66 years ago this week — when three Bell Laboratory scientists successfully tested what would become the junction transistor, the foundation of the information age. The three shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956. The transistor replaced bulky, fragile vacuum tubes, which generated a lot of heat as they amplified a signal. The first application that caught the public's attention was the transistor radio. Now, transistors are found in every electronic device that we all take for granted. Today, there are nearly 51,000 stores selling electronic devices in the U.S., with sales worth $109 billion annually. You can find current data on the country's economy by downloading the America's Economy mobile app at <www.census.gov/mobile>.
2007 Economic Census, NAICS 4431