Skip to Main Content

Holmdel, New Jersey: World's Largest Transistor Team Field Report

Bell Works

101 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel, NJ
Garden State Pkwy exit 114. Drive west on Red Hill Rd. Just before stoplight take ramp right onto Crawfords Corner Rd. About a half-mile on left. Visible from road. Turn onto the BellWorks entry road.
Save to My Sights
World's Largest Transistor

Old Bell Labs water tower shaped like the world's first production transistor, a revolutionary technology invented in 1947. In front of Eero Saarinen-designed glass sarcophagus. Report...

Visitor Tips and News About World's Largest Transistor

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Bell Labs invents the Transistor.

Bell Labs Invents the Transistor: December 16, 1947

Eventually making possible the computer on which you're reading this, the transistor was invented 75 years ago, on December 16, 1947. Comically bulky and slow by today's standards, it replaced the hot, fragile vacuum tubes in electronics and the earliest computers, and made the "transistor radio" the go-to technology for every 1960s teenager. Its invention was credited to three researchers at the Murray Hill Bell Laboratories, and the company gave an architectural nod later by creating a giant, sleek, stylized version at its Holmdel Bell Labs facility water tower (now part of the BellWorks developed multi-use campus). Most people think it's just mid-century art, but it's a transistor.

[ Team, 12/16/2022]

Transistor water tower.

World's Largest Transistor

Picturesque lawns and interesting, other-worldly feel to the tower. There's a nearby little roadside sign about the discovery of radio astronomy at the site.

[Janet, 05/04/2017]

Zooming past the World's Largest Transistor.

World's Largest Transistor - Vague Recollections

I worked at Bell Labs in Holmdel in 1965-66 before being moved to the new Indian Hill facility in Naperville, IL. Another interesting tidbit about the Holmdel grounds is the long drive from the circumference road to where it curved to meet Crawford Corner road. There was a 100 Club at Holmdel -- very unofficial. To join it, you had to start at the circumference road and reach 100 mph, then slow down enough that you didn't roll over as the road curved to meet Crawford Corner Road. I wasn't a member in my straight 6 1960 Ford, but there were Vettes and Goats (GTOs) that were.

[Bill Garraty, 04/09/2007]

That straight stretch of private road towards the Transistor Water Tower can be mesmerizing. The inbound lane of that same road was used by Bell Labs in the late 1980s (or early 1990s?) to trial electronic toll collection technology by clocking employees arriving for work. The days of the 100 Club were over!

Nearby Offbeat Places

Father of Radio Astronomy - Jansky MonumentFather of Radio Astronomy - Jansky Monument, Holmdel, NJ - < 1 mi.
Vietnam Era Museum & Educational CenterVietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, Holmdel, NJ - 1 mi.
United States War Dog MemorialUnited States War Dog Memorial, Holmdel, NJ - 1 mi.
In the region:
Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY - 22 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

New Jersey Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights