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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Herman Fialkov was a prominent American electronics entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Born in Brooklyn, New York on March 23, 1922, Fialkov became interested in engineering and technology at a young age. He briefly studied engineering at City College of New York, but left college to take a job at Emerson Radio Corporation (1941-1942), where he served as an assistant mechanical engineer.
Fialkov's career in the electronics industry was interrupted by military service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II (1942-1946). He saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Bronze Star and two Oak Leaf Clusters. After the war, Fialkov returned to Emerson Radio Corporation for a time (1946-1947), then subsequently held positions at Mutual Broadcasting System (1947-1949) and Radio Receptor Corporation (1949-1954). He also attended night school at New York University during this time period, earning a bachelor's degree in Administrative Engineering in 1951.
Seeing a market for transistors, Fialkov went into business for himself in 1954 by founding General Transistor Corporation, an electronics firm based in Jamaica, New York. The new firm's first major customer was UNIVAC, to whom it supplied transistors for use in UNIVAC's File-Computer Systems. Under Fialkov's leadership, General Transistor became a recognized pioneer in transistor technology. The firm also grew quickly and became a publically traded concern in 1956.
General Transistor merged with General Instrument Corporation in 1960. Fialkov stayed on at General Instrument for a number of years, serving as the Group Vice President (1960-1967) and Senior Vice President of Development (1967-1968). At Fialkov's instigation, General Instrument started manufacturing integrated circuits soon after its merger with General Transistor. He was also the founder of General Instrument's Microelectronics Division, which was later spun off as Microchip Technology, Incorporated. Fialkov was also responsible for convincing General Instrument to venture into cable television by purchasing Jerrold Electronics in 1967, which later evolved into Comcast Corporation.
Fialkov became interested in venture capital while still working at General Instrument. In 1968, he left General Instrument to go into business as a venture capitalist specializing in technology firms, and went on to enjoy a long and distinguished career in this field. Fialkov co-founded three venture capital firms: Geiger and Fialkov Fund (1968-1977), Aleph-Null Fund (1978-1987), and Poly Ventures (1987-1997). He also served as a partner at Newlight Associates (1997-2004). Over the course of his career as a venture capitalist, Fialkov helped finance the startup and early development of a number of successful technology firms, including, but not limited to, Intel Corporation, Teledyne Technologies, Incorporated, and Standard Microsystems Corporation.
As a venture capitalist, Fialkov played a particularly active role in the founding and early development of Standard Microsystems Corporation. Based in Hauppauge, New York, Standard Microsystems was co-founded in 1971 by Fialkov and electronics engineer Paul Richman. It was created from the remains of Solid State Data, Incorporated, which was a defunct electronics firm that Fialkov had previously invested in. With Fialkov providing the financial backing, Richman invented the COPLAMOS process. Patented in 1973, COPLAMOS made possible the fabrication of high speed and high density n-channel MOS (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) structures for use in integrated circuits.
Armed with this new technology, Standard Microsystems focused on the manufacture of MOS/LSI (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor/Large-Scale-Integrated) microchips and licensed the COPLAMOS process to other companies. This strategy proved successful and by the 1980s, the firm had grown into a leading electronics concern. Fialkov remained involved with Standard Microsystems into the 1990s, serving at various times as President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, and as a member of the firm's Board of Directors.
Fialkov was an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers and the Electronic Industries Association. He was also a noted philanthropist, serving as a trustee of several non-profit organizations, including Adelphi University, Polytechnic University (now New York University's Tandon School of Engineering), and North Shore University Hospital.
Herman Fialkov passed away on February 21, 2012.
Herman Fialkov Papers, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Herman Fialkov Papers contain the business records and personal papers of Herman Fialkov. The files in Boxes 1 and 2 are arranged alphabetically by subject. Box 3 contains one trophy pen holder. The contents of this collection mainly document the history of Standard Microsystems Corporation and Fialkov's activities with the firm. To a significantly lesser extent, Fialkov's life and his activities with General Transistor Corporation and General Instrument Corporation are also documented here.
Publications printed by Standard Microsystems Corporation consisting of annual reports, notices of shareholder meetings, quarterly reports, and prospectuses, make up a majority of the materials in this collection. A noticeable amount of financial documents, legal documents, and correspondence are also present here. Small amounts of photocopied articles, memoranda, and papers are also found in this collection. Photocopied government documents, photocopied photographs, photocopied notes, web page printouts, speeches, a business plan, and a trophy pen holder are preserved in this collection as well.
Ownership of the Herman Fialkov Papers was transferred by Herman Fialkov to David Brock. The Herman Fialkov Papers were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by David Brock in August 2015.
The Herman Fialkov Papers were processed by Kenton G. Jaehnig in February 2018.
- Businesspeople--United States
- Electronic industries--United States
- Entrepreneurship--United States
- Science History Institute Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid created and encoded into EAD by Kenton G. Jaehnig.
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.
- Use Restrictions
The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Herman Fialkov Papers. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.