Jerry D. Merryman - People
Scientists might come up with great ideas for new technology, but it doesn't make much of a difference unless manufacturers start using the ideas. In the case of the integrated chip, industry was pretty slow on the uptake. The new chip, with its collection of transistors all made from a single crystal, could miniaturize practically anything -- if only someone was interested.
To snag the world's attention, Texas Instruments needed a marketing gimmick. They wanted a flashy product to showcase the IC. A calculator seemed just the thing. In a mere two years, a TI group including Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel, and led by Jack Kilbydeveloped a calculator small enough to be held in your hand. Just over six inches tall, this portable calculator certainly surpassed the all-transistor calculator released just a year earlier -- that calculator weighed 55 pounds and cost $2,500.
Jerry D. Merryman joined TI in 1963 and remains with the company today; he has worked as an engineer in the design and development of a variety of products and technologies. In addition to his work on the hand-held calculator, Merryman was instrumental in designing and fabricating semiconductor manufacturing equipment. He also made significant contributions to the thermal printing devices that TI used for years in a popular family of data terminal products.