Bell Labs Science Kits (From Sun to Sound)
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From Sun to Sound


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Two major inventions of the Bell System by Bell Labs scientists are shown at left - the solar cell (left) and the transistor (right). Note the date code on the transistor is February 1964.

Photo 1 shows the outer sleeve removed from the box.  Photo 2 shows the arrangement of the contents in the box with the book removed.  Photo 3 shows the parts in the kits.  Photo 4 is a close up of the solar cell.  Photo 5 is a close up of the transistor.  As with most other thumbnail images on these web pages, clicking on one of the images above will display the full- size image.


The first few pages of the kit's book can be viewed by clicking HERE.  There are no plans of scanning additional pages of this book.  An interesting article about George Frost, the author, can be seen by clicking HERE. For more information on photovoltaics (a.k.a., "solar battery", "solar cell", "solar panel"), see my web page dedicated to this subject by clicking HERE.


In the book it describes how to determine the coil design and capacitor construction (yes, you have to "roll-your-own" capacitor!) to obtain a desired oscillator frequency.  I'm surprised Bell Labs didn't come out with a kit to build your own transistor from scratch!  Speaking of transistors, there is a slight error in the transistor description as seen in photo 5.  It was invented in 1947, not 1948!  Bell Labs did not announce the invention to the public until 1948 and even then it was not well known by the public.



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Here is the Canadian version of this Bell Labs kit.  Here are some photos of the items inside of the "sister" kit made in Canada:

In Canada the kit was available in French
or English as evident in the following photo
of the outside of a Canadian shipping box:



And the supplier/manufacturer of some of the parts
in the Canadian kit was Northern Electric rather than
Western Electric as evident here in these photos:




Back of Northern Electric Solar Cell



Front of Northern Electric Solar Cell



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