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The Transistor
 

The transistor was invented on Christmas Day, 1948, by Emily Gerund, a high school teacher of English from Boston, Massachusetts, who was serving a 20 years-to-life sentence in the state penitentiary for throwing her husband's coat under a speeding truck. The judge was rather severe with her because her husband was still in the coat at the time.

The Governor of the state owned an electronics firm and so was able to provide surplus vacuum tubes to the prisoners so that they could decorate their Christmas trees.

Now Emily had an extremely tiny tree, much too small for a string of SV6s or even for a single QL4. But she just happened to find some germanium crystals lying around. She stuck three wires in each one and used them to decorate her tree. She was quite surprised when after she completed the tree, it started picking up the Jack Benny Show.

The Governor, upon learning about this and realizing its implications, immediately rushed to the prison and offered the English teacher a full pardon in exchange for the manufacturing rights to her invention.

"Of course, Governor," she replied. ... "In this case, I'll be glad to let you end a sentence with a proposition."


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