> I, personally, can't be of any help. But while you're at it, the wiki
> article takes issue with the Haydu brothers:
> It mentions, Burroughs buying the Haydu brothers out for their tube
> manufacturing abilities, and that the nixie was developed 'in-house',
> at Burroughs.
Hmm I have historical proof that Haydu Bros already were a Burroughs
subsidiary when they advertised the Nixie tube, see here:
http://www.jb-electronics.de/html/elektronik/nixies/n_hb106.htm Now that
was 1955, so quite early.
But sadly, I do not know if Haydu Bros had planned the Nixie tube before
they were bought by Burroughs, or if it was a true Burroughs story.
Wikipedia seems to point in that direction.
The wikipedia article seems wrong at one point, though: Telefunken made
their first Nixie tube in 1966 a German source says.
> The Wikipedia Nixie tube page is horrible and wrong on many issues,
> and should be ignored by all thinking individuals.
> Micah Mabelitini
> National Union released the Inditron in 1954.
Do you have an add or a press release for that? That would be amazing. I
only have the snippet from "Popular Science", 1954, that you also have
on your VTA website.
> Haydu was bought by Burroughs in 1954.
OK, that is also what I know from several sources.
> Burroughs released the Nixie and beam switching
> tube in 1955.
That is a crucial point. Do we have any material proving this year?
> All associated patents are assigned to National Union
> and Burroughs. The one man most responsible for both the Burroughs
> beam switching tube and the Burroughs Nixie is Saul Kuchinsky.
> Kuchinsky was working at National Union during the development of the
Sadly I could not find a bio on Saul Kuchinsky. Help, anyone?
> I don't know what sort of retarded licensing
> agreement Burroughs accepted that resulted in tubes being branded
> Haydu in the first place, but it was a bad idea.
A bad idea resulting in a faulty wikipedia page half a decade later.
Thanks for enlightening,
> The patent, official datasheet and press release for the GI-10
> Inditron are all dated 1954. Here's the original datasheet, dated May
How embarassing - I never noticed the small "issued May 1954", even
though I have had this datasheet a long time. Good that this is a
keyboard only that does not see me turn red.
> The GI-10 patent (US2756366) was filed on April 1, 1954, and the
> Popular Science press release is dated September 1954.
OK, so it seems safe to say that the GI-10 was not introduced later than
May 1954. The "patent pending" found on many GI-10 tubes (on some of
mine as well) would underline this, since the respective patent was
> [...] There are several Haydu-Burroughs ads for both the Nixie and 6700 beam
> switching tube that are dated from 1955, and I have seen no ads or
> tubes dating earlier.
Would you mind scanning the earliest ad you have for me? That would be
fantastic. I have an ad from 1955, but no month, sadly. See it at
> All I know about Saul Kuchinsky is his extensive patent history. He
> was deeply involved in the development of every major class of
> Burroughs tube.
Hmm there have to be some archives dealing with the National Union
history. (Like the CBI for Burroughs). Anyone have an idea where to
start looking for National Union information?
Thanks for the ad scans. They are historically interesting. Have you ever seen a
real Vari-Count module?
These ads are amusing in light of the HP decade counter module that uses four
5963 dual triodes as a decade counter, as used in the 52x series counters. True,
they needed a CdS photo-resistor plate to do the BCD-to-decimal conversion, but
they did with four generic tubes what Burroughs needed an exotic magnetic tube
By the way, I have a Haydu Brothers box with a defective 6700 tube in it. It has
little stickers that say, "A subsidiary of Burroughs Corp." stuck on every side
of the box. Naturally, it was a gift from Tom Jennings.
It includes a data sheet. I could scan it if you're interested.
David Forbes, Tucson, AZ
> Here are the three early advertisements I know about. They were
> published in Electronics magazine between May and December 1955...
Oh yes, the article from Mr Ciardiello, see it here:
How do you know when they were published, did I miss something in the
> These ads, along with the bulletins you have on your site, are the
> earliest known evidence for the beam switching tube and Nixie. They're
> all dated 1955.
Hmm, I guess that's something. But you know, whenever a distance between
two things is measured, it is important to keep the error low ;-) So all
we can say is that the Inditron was not introduced later than September
1954, and that the Nixie tube was not introduced later than December (or
But something bugs me: I have searched for "inditron" at Google books,
and they were some documents from 1950 that had "inditron tube" in them.
Isn't that weird?
[...] Mr. Ciardiello had [...] had regurgitated the same incorrect Haydu origin mantra. He subsequently edited the content of this article enough that it is vaguely-not- incorrect, but he doesn't actually admit that I was right all along. The Haydu Vs. Burroughs article is basically useless and draws no real conclusions.
I seem to remember somebody in the past telling me that there was another unrelated tube called an Inditron, but I can't say for sure.
OK, I'll see about photographing it. Should be fun.
I will also contact Tom Jennings, who wrote that big wps.com decimal counting
tube page over 10 years ago, to update his information if you have more
substantial printed evidence that Burroughs rather than Haydu developed the beam
switching tube. He should be amenable to that, and since his web page is
considered the Holy Grail of info for these tubes by the Wikipedia crowd, your
outlook on life may improve. We'll see.
> Jens: on the subject of Inditrons in the 1940s, that's just wrong. We
> were once given bad information as to the Inditron's age, and had a
> date estimate of 1940s up on our site for some time. We have since
> corrected that information, but it's quite likely that our estimate
> was regurgitated on various sites. We're the first site to have the
> Inditron datasheet, and we're the first site to say definitively that
> the Inditron was released in 1954, with plenty of evidence to back it
Yes, it makes no sense that the Inditron was released 1940 when the
official datasheet is from 1954. It would be interesting to know,
though, when the NU engineers started working on a readout tube.
> There were also no Telefunken Nixies in the 1940s.
Yep. A German tube collector told me that he actually has listings of
the Telefunken factory in Germany, and the first Nixie tube they
produced was the ZM1020 in 1966. Maybe they had some internal
discussions and maybe even prototypes of display tubes, that is still
> Hmm there have to be some archives dealing with the National Union
> history. (Like the CBI for Burroughs). Anyone have an idea where to
> start looking for National Union information?
How about a question to the TCA group then ?
oh yes, I am a member there, too, but Mr Barbour is very dominant there
and he insists that NU made Inditrons around 1940. I would love to see a
proof, but until now I did not get any responses.
I'm not even going to entertain the possibility of Telefunken Nixies in the 1940s. You might as well tell me the Germans developed a functional atomic bomb in the 1930s but never patented it or used it because they didn't want to infringe on US atomic bomb patents that would later be filed in the 1940s.
[...] The earliest Burroughs Nixie patent dates to 1956 IIRC, and there are no Haydu Nixie patents. It is not entirely impossible that somebody will eventually turn up a pre-release 6700 from 1954, but I'm confident the Haydu/Burroughs Nixie did not exist in a manufacturable state until 1955.
A note on Haydu's role: Although the beam switching tube and Nixie were electrically designed by Burroughs, I think it's a foregone conclusion that Haydu production engineers were heavily involved in the high-volume refinement of these tubes. If you note the Stems & Sockets brochure, they're making a big fuss about the high-pin-count button bases they're using. I'm guessing the button bases are a direct result of Haydu production engineering.
"Burroughs purchased the Haydu plant in 1954 expressly for the purpose of manufacturing and selling new products developed at our Paoli, Pennsylvania facility. One of the first new products, the NIXIE tube, started the division on the road to success." Ed. Lord, Editor, the Burroughs Readout Volume 1, Number 5, July 1972
The trick/problem with Wikipedia is that the have some funny rules that
don't always work well with topics with a limited knowledge base.
1. Article must be verifiable, which means that almost any fact you want
to change needs a reference to a reliable source. anything from the 20th
century proably does not have an independent web page, and many of the
Nixie world source books don't have an ISBN (too Old)
2 No independent research, which means that if you have found some bit
of truth, you are not allowed to post it yourself. It is aright if
someone else posts it and cites your page as a source.
3 The Wiki crowd has some very funny ideas about relavence, and if some
14 year old gets bored they will just say that your article is not
important enough, and then you have an argument/vote situation to keep
I have tried to add stuff, and had my patience run down. see for
example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagrid_converter If you look at
the edits you will see the fight I had trying to get nonsense out of
this article. It still does not discuss the workings. They still use
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_River_Parkway has lost a nice shot I
took showing the actual road at sunset
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OttawaRPsunset.jpg becasue "Its campy
and terribly lit," Anyone want to put it back?
Ludwell Sibley from TCA just send me an unbelievable historic treasure,
This could mean that the Inditron was planned as early as 1948! It was
developed at least from 1950 onwards, and if you consider four years of
research and two years of production seperately (which I think is
reasonable) and take may 1954 as the official Inditron release date
(which is also reasonable) this gives us 1948. Yeah baby. Sadly there is
no issue date.
I am just a little sad that I have never seen such an Inditron in over 4
The one on the right is most likely the GI-30. The other tubes: no idea.
I also have several GI-10 and GI-21 tubes all NIB, but I have NEVER seen
any of those on the promo sheet.
The GI-30 was described as similar to the GI-21 but slightly larger. So
this description fits, I guess. Mr Barbour from TCA gave me that
information. He said he donated his GI-30 to the computer history museum
(http://www.computerhistory.org/) in 1998 - I have send an inquiring
email several months ago and I have not received a response, sadly.