Texas Ingenuity History


"I do love the book. I'm glad I got a chance to buy it.  Any time you write a book - I WANT IT!!!" L. V.,(Dallas)

I think you've got a hit on your hands -- judging by the way the guys were reading it yesterday! They kept going--"I didn't know this"... or, "oh, yeah, I remember this"...What FUN! I gave out 7 of your Texas books at the family Christmas get-together yesterday--and now I need to buy another 3. P.S. (Athens)

"I started it tonight and found it to be interesting and written in very simple language which makes it a fast and easy read.  I will be buying more copies soon." B R. (Dallas)

Send a comment


Best Texas Hotels

The Adolphus Hotel (Dallas; tel. 800/221-9083 or 214/742-8200)

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas; tel. 800/422-3408 or 214/599-2100)

Hotel Zaza (Dallas; tel. 800/597-8399 or 214/468-8399)

Stockyards Hotel (Fort Worth; tel. 800/423-8471 or 817/625-6427)

Four Seasons Hotel Houston (Houston; tel. 800/332-3442 or 713/650-1300)

Hotel Derek (Houston; tel. 866/292-4100 or 713/961-3000)

Lancaster Hotel (Houston; tel. 800/231-0336 or 713/228-9500)

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel (Corpus Christi; tel. 800/843-6664 or 361/887-1600)

Isla Grand Beach Resort (South Padre Island; tel. 800/292-7704 or 956/761-6511)

Omni La Mansión del Río (San Antonio; tel. 800/830-1400 or 210/518-1000)

The Watermark Hotel & Spa (San Antonio; tel. 866/605-1212 or 210/396-5800)

The Driskill (Austin; tel. 800/252-9367 or 512/474-5911)

Four Seasons Austin (Austin; tel. 800/332-3442 or 512/478-4500)

Lake Austin Spa Resort (Austin; 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.; tel. 800/847-5637)

Cibolo Creek Ranch (Shafter; tel. 432/229-3737)

Gage Hotel (Marathon; tel. 432/386-4205)

Historic - The Excelsior House (Jefferson; 903/665-2513 or 800/490-7270)






Order the Book

Author Info

Comments, Questions & Notes


Are you a writer? Want to be?
 The Dallas Area Writers Group (DAWG)
 Meets every 2nd Tuesday at 7pm
 Most members are from Oak Cliff  and Southeast Dallas County Suburbs.
 For more info: www.dallaswriters.org






Jack Kilby Invents the Future

Jack St. Clair Kilby reigns as the Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell of Texas all rolled into one. His world-changing invention not only put Texas Instruments Company (TI) on the mega-company map, it revolutionized American living as pervasively as Edison's electric lights and Bell's telephone combined.

Look it up - it's patent number 3,138,743. The tiny device, called the integrated circuit (IC) or the microchip, is a Texas invention that controls the pulse of virtually every electronic device today - computers, cell phones, televisions, satellites, automobiles, iPods, iPhones, iPads - any device that thinks, calculates, pulses, beeps, or communicates.

It all began during a missed summer vacation. Kilby went to work for the electronics company Texas Instruments in early 1958. At that time, the transistor had been in use for about ten years - created at Bell Labs in 1947. Although transistors were interesting and powerful when combined in large numbers, they were far too expensive for everyday commercial use. Transistors were basically a glob of semiconductor substance called germanium with several wires sticking out. They were about the size of a pencil eraser and cost more than their weight in gold.

That summer of 1958, when most of the TI scientists went on a two-week July vacation, Kilby had to stay in the lab since he didn't yet qualify for vacation time. He spent that missed vacation period pondering this new and interesting electronic component called a transistor. Fortunately, like Isaac Newton's time in the English countryside when he observed his legendary falling apple, Kilby's time-alone-experience also produced an idea of considerable gravity. He knew that the current process of hand-soldering several transistors, resistors, and capacitors onto a circuit board made every electronic device expensive. But what if there were a simpler, cheaper, and more efficient way to combine these three components? It might be possible, he reasoned. After all, the three components - the transistor, the resistor, and capacitors could all be fashioned out of the same semiconductor material. Furthermore, in theory, they could all be created on the same semiconductor chip and could communicate with each other if they were connected with short wires. But would it work?

Continues. . .

Together, history accepts both Noyce and Kilby as inventors of the Integrated Circuit. Today, TI and Intel share certain patents related to the IC (and reap lots of royalties).


Jack Kilby Integrated Circuit

The first Integrated Circuit, created by Jack Kilby in 1958.

(Courtesy Texas Instruments.)

For several years, the new Integrated Circuit provided little more than entertainment at scientific conventions. . .It would become the first in a line of progressively more powerful microprocessor chips, including the "8088" chip (containing a whopping 29,000 transistors) that was used in the history-making first IBM Personal Computer in 1981.

Jack Kilby

Jack Kilby with some of the inventions he inspired at Texas Instruments. (Courtesy Texas Instruments.)

Today the computer chips inside your home computer may house more than 100 million transistors in a wafer-sized chip.

Continues. . .

Texas Tidbit: Among his many honors, Jack St. Claire Kilby received two of America's most prestigious honors in science and engineering. In 1970, he received the National Medal of Science. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (which includes members such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers). In addition, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit.

The story continues in the book Texas Ingenuity... For complete information on this and other Texas stories...