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The electronics industry has experienced four major periods of development: the radio era, the radar era, the television era, and the missile era. The radio and television eras, both being consumer-goods eras, were strongly influenced by the economic climate and by certian contractual arrangements peculiar to the electronics industry, whereas the radar and missile eras were dominated by factors related to the urgent development of new military weapons. Following a discussion of the characteristics of these eras, the author looks into the future to the possibility of the fifth surge in the industry, which he calls the industrial electronics era-a broad term which is intended to include all electronic fields other than consumer goods, military goods, and entertainment services, and including the field now covered by the electrical industry. The paper concludes with a discussion of the major traits and the absence of any one predominating trait in this new era of the future.