The transistor age

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The first Hungarian transistorized calculator

In the second half of the 1960s there were thousands of professional young engineers and programmers working on computers in Hungary.

By 1970, one hundred and forty-seven (147) computers had been put into operation. While Eastern computers were among them (Soviet, Polish etc.), a significant number were imported from the West. Hungarian industries also responded to the appearance of this newborn science: transistorized computers were made in the Electronic Measuring Instruments Factory (Elektronikus Mérőkészülékek Gyára, EMG) and also in the Central Physical Research Institute (Központi Fizikai Kutatóintézet, KFKI) .

The computers of the era emulated the methods of punch-card technology in many aspects but they were not usually compatible with each other. Around this time, there was no unified standard of computers even among countries in the East. It was in this exciting period was when Árpád Klatsmányi, an EMG engineer, created and domesticated semi-conducting technology in Hungary.

The first Hungarian transistorized computers were introduced at the 1968 trade fair in the town of Esztergom.

How to cite this page


Gábor Képes, 'The transistor age', Inventing Europe,


  1. K. Szabó, Zoltán: Az Elektronikus Mérőkészülékek Gyára története, 2011. Accessed January 8, 2013.
  2. Lukács, József. TPA történet, A lyukszalagtól az informatikáig, KFKI Számítástechnikai Rt. Budapest: Magyar Tudománytörténeti Intézet, 2003.
  3. Szentiványi, Tibor. “A magyarországi számítástechnika kezdete.” In Az informatika fél évszázada edited by Mária Raffai, 93-104. Budapest: Springer, 1997.

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Computers behind the 'Iron Curtain'

After the 1956 Revolution in the People's Republic of Hungary, Stalinist dictatorship was followed by a society that was ready to open towards the West. For this reason Hungary was sometimes called the "happiest barracks of the Soviet camp". Hungarian computer technology was both connected to the initiatives of the Eastern bloc countries, and also hurriedly following the West at the same time. By 1989 there were hundreds of thousands of computers in the country, and its computer technology was typically colourful and full of unique compromises between East and West.

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