GEC’s Semi Conductor

Even GEC ads had a sense of fun 50 years ago. In the May 10th 1961 edition of Electronics Weekly there is a GEC ad showing a photo of a nerdy looking guy in a sleeveless sweater reading a musical score while waving a pencil.

The copy reads:

‘Dear Sir


Cannot resist sending you our latest spoof photo. Title: “Evaluating a transistor record player”!! The joke is that I’m beating time with a pencil and reading a score. A sort of Semi Conductor! Get it? Hope you can use it – and would you make the Postal order out to Cocklehampton Central P.O this time please?


“Desperate Joker”




Beneath that is the reply:


‘Dear Joker,


Thank you for your desperate joke. We could certainly use it. But what for is a little difficult to say. You see we would like to get in a mention of our Q-band mixer diodes and low-noise preamplifier transistors as well. We make a wide range of semiconductor diodes – and we want people to ask us for them.








  1. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    That is a bit like the politician invited to celebrate a river was free from pollution and had achieved a pH of 7. The politician congratulated the locals on their effort but asked them not to stop until they achieved a pH of zero.

  2. It was the kind of joke going around in the early days, Chris, Philips once gave a Christmas lunch at which they announced that the speaker would be the Minister for Technology. We didn’t know we had a Minister for Technology but this guy stood up and said: ‘Her Majesty’s Government will be investing heavily in electronics but this government won’t just invest in semiconductors, we’re going to invest in full conductors.’. At this point everyone realised the ‘Minister’ was a stooge.

  3. No wonder Arnie got out of semi conductors if that is the best the marketing department could come up with.

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