New Search

James M. Goldey

  • Born: July 3, 1926, Wilmington, Delaware

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0306
Interview Dates: February 18, 2005 and April 8, 2005
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Interviewers: David C. Brock and Christophe Lécuyer
No. of pages: 105
Minutes: 372

  Abstract of Interview

James M. Goldey begins the interview with a discussion about growing up in Wilmington, Delaware. He discusses his education, his involvement with World War II, the influence of the Great Depression, and his early interest in electronics. He also details his education at the University of Delaware and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Next, he chronicles his involvement with the electronics industry and his career at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. Then he describes his interaction with William B. Shockley, Julius Molnar, Jack Moll, and Ian M. Ross. Goldey continues the interview by describing his work assignments at Bell Labs, along with his involvement with the Nike-X missile, silicon transistors, integrated circuit development, and hybrid circuits. Finally, he recounts his accomplishments at Bell Labs and his involvement with historical works about the transistor and integrated circuits. Goldey concludes the interview by reflecting on his career and the industry.


1950 B.S., Physics, University of Delaware
1955 Ph.D., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  Professional Experience

Bell Telephone Laboratories

1954 - 1989 Director, Linear and High Voltage Integrated Circuit Laboratory


1969 Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Education and Early Career 1

Family history. Early education in Delaware. World War II. Early interest in science. Grace Methodist Church. The Great Depression. The University of Delaware. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Robert N. Noyce and Sanborn C. Brown.

Early Career 18

Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. Ted S. Benedict. William B. Shockley. Julius Molnar. John Hornbeck. John K. Galt. Jack Morton. Ian M. Ross. Research at Bell Labs. Morris Tanenbaum. Jack A. Moll. NPN transistors. PNP transistor.

Work Assignments 26

Making a PNPN switch device. Silicon. Visiting William Shockley's lab. James M. Early. Diffused silicon transistor. PNP diffused base transistor. Carl Frosh. Integrated circuits. Epitaxy. Ian Macintosh. Photolithography. Volume production. Director of transistor development. Competition with other companies. Nike missile. Head of silicon transistor and integrated circuit development. Hybrid circuits. IEEE. Harold Sello.

Bell Lab Accomplishments and Suppliers 69

Nike-X project. Hybrid circuits in ESS. Western Electric Company. Varian Inc. Reading Pennsylvania. Gallium phosphide. Solid State Device and Materials Lab. Morgan Sparks. Historical works. The History of the Transistor. The History of the Integrated Circuits.

Conclusions 86

Retirement. IEEE. Science News. The Teaching Company. Grandchildren. General reflections.

Notes 88

Index 90

  About the Interviewers

David C. Brock

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.

In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.

Christophe Lécuyer

Christophe Lécuyer is a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and he received a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. He was a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia. Before becoming a senior research fellow at CHF, Lécuyer was the program manager of the electronic materials department. He has published widely on the history of electronics, engineering education, and medical and scientific instruments, and is the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930–1970 (2005).

Hear It Firsthand

The Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields, with over 425 oral histories that deal with various aspects of science, of scientists, and of scientific practices. For more information please visit CHF’s Oral History Program or e-mail oralhistory@

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible donation online.