An Interview with Norm Krim

“The Father of the CK722”

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary

of the Introduction

of the Raytheon CK722 Transistor


Biographic Note


Mr. Norman Krim has been associated with the Raytheon company for over 70 years, beginning as a consultant in 1933, when he was in his junior year at MIT.  He began work on a permanent basis with Raytheon in 1935 as an electron tube manufacturing  engineer, shortly after receiving his EE degree from MIT. Norm has held a variety of senior engineering and management positions at Raytheon, including Vice President of the Receiving Tubes and Semiconductors in the 1950s.  He left Raytheon in the early 1960s to become the President and CEO of Radio Shack Corporation, returning to Raytheon later in the 1960s, where he has remained as a consultant.  Norm was appointed Raytheon archivist and historian in 1990, and remains active in that position.





This is a September 1953 photo of Mr. Norm Krim, then a vice-president at Raytheon for the Receiving Tube and Semiconductor division.  He is shown holding a box of CK722 transistors which were destined to be shipped to Radio Shack Corp, representing the first distributor shipment of commercial transistors by any manufacturer. 



Audio Clip - CK722 Radio Shack Distributor




Norm Krim Interview



The material contained in this interview has been developed through a series of communications, including emails, phone discussions, and personal visits that I’ve had the pleasure to conduct over the past three years with Norm Krim.  I have published some of this material previously in the book, “The Story of the CK722”, which includes an audio CD version of the interview.  This newly updated version of the interview is based on some of the original material, but also includes recent comments from Norm on the occasion of the 2003 50th anniversary of the introduction of the CK722. In addition to the following written version of the interview, you’ll find frequent hyperlinks, which will activate brief audio (mp3 file) comments from Norm.  These have been kept relatively short in order to minimize download time. 



The CK722 holds a unique place in the history of the transistor.  Introduced by Raytheon in early 1953, the CK722 was the first low cost junction transistor available to the general public.  It was an instant success.  Countless “build it yourself” articles were published in the popular electronics press and hobbyist magazines.  Many of the talented and dedicated professionals and amateurs who have been responsible for the tremendous rise of the electronics industry over the past five decades can still remember the time, when, as a young hobbyist, they were able to scrape together enough money (maybe through saving allowance or cutting the neighbor’s grass) to buy that first CK722.


 As you’ll discover in this interview, there never would have been a CK722 transistor without the insight, dedication and hard work of Norm Krim and his team during those exciting times many years ago.  I have found great pleasure in documenting the history of the CK722, mostly because of the unexpected opportunity to communicate with so many others who were personally affected by the CK722.  I never imagined that almost 50 years after first encountering one of these marvels, I’d have the opportunity to work who those who made it possible and with those who shared my experiences.  


Go To The Interview

(Link Not Yet Active)


50 YEARS of the CK722

A New Volume of Projects Featuring the Most Famous Transistor Ever Made

COPYRIGHT © 2003 by Jack Ward.  All Rights Reserved.