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Catalog Number 2015.012.002
Description General Electric Electron Beam Generator Electron Tube, 1957. This electron accelerator beam tube was stored for use as spare parts for "Beam 1", the first electron beam generator produced by General Electric for the Raychem Corporation. "Beam 1" was used by the Raychem Corporation in Menlo Park, California, and later by Tyco Electronics when it bought Raychem in 1999. It was the first electron beam accelerator ever put into commercial use. "Beam 1" was still in operation until 2016.

The appearance of the electron tube is that of a long metal cylinder that extends into a ridged triangular cone. The cone connects to a rectangular titanium window at the base. Approximately 40" of the top of the tube is constructed with a cylindrical piece of translucent material with 11 equally spaced black enamel metal rings. The ridged triangular section near the base is 35" long and 19" wide. Additional hardware is attached near the middle of the tube and to the side of the triangular section.

An excerpt from General Electric Product Data Sheet A4610, August 1959 describes the Electron Tube. This datasheet is for a slightly later model that is of similar design to this artifact:
"ELECTRON TUBE - Permanently evacuated; multi-section construction. Electron beam emitted by hot tungsten filament; biased grid allows tube to conduct only during high-energy portion of input cycle. Electrons accelerated by voltage applied to intermediate electrodes…emerge through permanent window to treatment area. / Tube Window - 3 x 15". Made of titanium, 0.0075" thick. Cooled by forced air. Air-cooling nozzle included. (Compressor must be purchased seperately...must meet specifications appearing under AIR REQUIREMENTS-TUBE WINDOW COOLING.) / Electrically controlled, air-operated, water-cooled shutter - for absorbing beam when bombardment of material in beam area is not desired, or for timed exposures."
Object Name Tube, Electron
Collection 3D - Electrical & Magnetic Tools & Equipment
Title General Electric Electron Beam Generator Electron Tube, 1957
Date 1957
Creator General Electric
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "F-2541 01-43682 (on label near middle of tube)
"PPG ELECTRONICS CO" (on label near center of tube with silver lettering on black background); "VA [encircled] VARIAN" and "MADE IN U.S.A." (stamped on side of silver metal rings below section made from translucent material)
Provenance Raychem originated in Redwood City at 501 Oakside/Northside and was founded by Paul M. Cook. The wire cable plant remained in Redwood City, but the corporate headquarters relocated to Menlo Park. The company was sold to Tyco in 1999. This tube was being stored at the Menlo Park site to be used for spare parts for Beam 1 (the first Electron Beam Accelerator ever put into commercial use) which was still in operation through 2016.
Notes On April 9, 1997, the site of Raychem Corp. was made a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society. The commemorative plaque reads, "FIRST SUCCESSFUL COMMERCIALIZATION OF RADIATION CHEMISTRY / Redwood City, California / 1957 / Near this site, Paul M. Cook, James B. Meikleand Richard W. Muchmore, founders of the company that became Raychem Corporation, successfully applied the new science of radiation chemistry to crosslink polymeric materials. This accomplishment led to the creation of tough new materials and high-performance products such as irradiated polyethylene, insulated wire and heat-shrinkable tubing. The success of this enterprise established radiation chemistry as a practical, safe, cost-effective use of ionizing radiation and helped make the United States the world leader in the development of commercial radiation technology and equipment."
Dimensions H-97.25 W-19 D-11.5 inches
Search Terms Electronics Industry
Menlo Park
Raychem Corporation
Tyco Electronics
Subjects Electronics industry
Radiation chemistry
People Cook, Paul M.
Raychem Corporation