Texas Instruments: 75 years on

Tech Culture

Texas Instruments has experienced quite a bit of turmoil in its day: World War II, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the space race and at least five harrowing boom-and-bust cycles in the electronics industry.

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The company has also played a crucial role in creating many of the key concepts and markets of the electronic age. The integrated circuit came out of TI, as did the transistor radio. In your attic, there's probably a TI calculator, watch or Speak and Spell. Some of the company's ideas were hits; many turned into missed opportunities.

A good portion of the history has now been compiled in "Engineering the World: Stories from the First 75 Years of Texas Instruments," published by Caleb Pirtle III. The book chronicles how the company grew from an oil exploration firm with ties to Columbia University to become one of the first transistor manufacturers to a central figure in cell phones.

For photos from the book, click here.

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