It all started with a phone call, amplified by a vacuum tube. In 1956, William Shockley recruited an eclectic group of sharp, young minds to help him change the world. Shockley, while at AT&T Bell Labs, had led the research behind the invention of the Transistor, a tiny electrical gadget that would soon make vacuum tubes obsolete. He quit the telephone giant to be his own boss and lead the charge into the great unknown. With his hand-picked team of chemists and physicists, Shockley headed West to a little orchard community along the California coast.
In dusty Santa Clara Valley, just 30 miles from Haight-Ashbury, his boys would start a quiet revolution that would reshape the modern world.
The Real Revolutionaries is the story of Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and the rest of the Fairchild Eight— the men who built ‘Silicon Valley’ from the ground up. Brought together by a mad genius to build essential components for the Military, they would become the driving force behind the Digital Age. Together they would engineer the integrated circuit,the little invention that remains at the heart of every electronic device in our world today. In the shadow of Vietnam, at a far west outpost of a divided country, the Fairchild Eight reinvented the American Dream: Technology for the greater good. Stock Options for every worker. Venture Capital for every good idea.
A Community effort for a 21st Century. Shockley would end his career in disgrace. Noyce and Moore would found Intel and bring the Microchip to the global market. And today there are almost as many transistors produced in the world market as there are printed characters in all the newspapers, books,
magazines and computer pages combined.
The Real Revolutionaries is the last great story of the American West. It is the untold story of America in the ‘60’s. While the hippies got the headlines, a handful of earnest young men dared to dream about the future, then figured out the science to make all their dreams come true.
All it takes is one visionary to start a revolution...
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043