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This Week in Tech History: First Use of Nuclear Power

On this edition of "This Week in Tech History", Chris reminds us of, among other things, the first successful use of nuclear power. Also, the birth of the transistor.

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transbauformenThis week in 1938 – Vladimir Zworykin of Wilkinsburg, PA patented the iconoscope television system.

1947 – A group of three physicists invented the transistor. In its original form, the transistor took up a lot of space in the lab in New Jersey where it was invented. Today, thousands of transistors can be packed into a space smaller than a pinhead; and used in every type of electronic device.first_four_nuclear_lit_bulbs2

In 1951 this week – EBR-I (Experimental Breeder Reactor-I) ushered in a new era in nuclear history when it became the first reactor to generate usable amounts of electricity from nuclear energy. It accomplished this feat by lighting four light bulbs at the National Reactor Testing Station in Butte County, Idaho.

12-16-2016-twith1968 – Apollo 8 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.

And this week in 1976 – WTCG-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, owned by Ted Turner, changed their call letters to WTBS, and was uplinked via satellite, to become the first commercial TV station to cover the entire U.S. WTBS started on four cable systems, available in 24,000 homes. It is still around today, known simply as TBS.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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