Skip to Main Content
In 1954, engineers at Philco Corporation invented the surface barrier transistor, the first transistor suitable for use in high-speed computers. Philco set up a computer activity - eventually a computer division - and in 1957 introduced the Philco Transac S-2000, the first large-scale, transistorized scientific computer system offered as a product by a computer manufacturer. In the spring of 1958, we were hired by Philco to organize a programming systems department to provide software support for the new computer system. We present part of the history of the Philco computer effort from one participant's point of view. Despite a number of successful installations, the Philco computer division lacked adequate resources to remain competitive in an area dominated by IBM, and Philco withdrew from the general-purpose computer field in 1965.