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Oral history interview with Julius Blank

  • 2006-Mar-20

Oral history interview with Julius Blank

  • 2006-Mar-20

Julius Blank begins the interview with a look at his childhood and early education. He graduated high school at the age of fifteen and began taking classes at the City College of New York while working various jobs. When Blank turned eighteen, he enlisted and was sent to Europe to serve during the end of World War II. When he came home he finished college with the aid of the GI Bill and received a degree in mechanical engineering.

Blank worked as an engineer at Babcock and Wilcox Company in Ohio, and then moved to Goodyear Aircraft. After two years, he and his wife moved back to New York where Blank got a job at Western Electric. In 1956, Blank was asked to join Shockley Semiconductor in California. He and his family moved to Palo Alto, where Blank worked on crystal growing for Shockley. Blank met Gordon Moore at Shockley, and eventually joined Moore and six other Shockley colleagues to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Blank first worked on crystal growing and research and development at Fairchild, but later helped set up assembly plants overseas. In 1969 Blank left Fairchild to become an independent consultant. Blank concludes the interview with some final thoughts on Gordon Moore.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 75 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0333

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • June 02, 1925
  • New York , New York, United States
  • September 17, 2011
  • Palo Alto, California, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1950 City University of New York. City College BS Mechanical Engineering

Professional Experience

Babcock & Wilcox Company

  • 1950 to 1951 Engineer, steam drums

Goodyear Aircraft Corporation

  • 1951 to 1952 Research and Development Engineer

Western Electric Company

  • 1952 to 1956 Engineering, manufacturing toll crossbar equipment

Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory

  • 1956 to 1957 Senior Staff Engineer

Fairchild (Firm)

  • 1957 to 1969 Co-founder, Facilities, Engineering Services, Division Manager


  • 1969 to 2007 Consultant, various companies

Xicor Corporation

  • 1978 to 2004 Director and co-founder

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PDF — 567 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

5 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads