Western Electric 2N559 Transistor  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2019-12-23  



The Western Electric 2N559 is an early germanium PNP transistor that was likely first produced in 1959. Noteworthy for it's use in the US Nike Zeus missile defense system, the 2N559 was first produced in a gold plated metal can enclosure with an attached evacuation pip. After 1961, Western Electric eliminated the pip and switched to the use of a barium hydroxide alloy sponge, which was sealed within the transistor package to absorb any latent gasses. These later manufacture 2N559's are packaged in a black painted metal can, similar in size to a standard TO-18 transistor package. The 2N559 was manufactured at Western Electric's Laureldale plant.


Western Electric 2N559 Transistor
Western Electric 2N559 transistor.

Western Electric 2N559 Transistor
Later 2N559s were packaged in black TO-18 style cans.

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