The RCA 807 turns 80

Those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s lusted after the early Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford Thunderbirds, two seaters that melded performance and style into an irresistible combination. Not as versatile, or powerful as some of the later, more refined models, but inspiring none the less, firing our creativity to customize and innovate.

Such was the appeal of the RCA 807 vacuum tube.

Alexander Magoun, writing in the IEE Spectrum, points out that, even during the depths of the depression, RCA “earned a tidy profit” with this multifaceted device, something that performed well across a variety of electronic applications.

As this QST ad from March of 1940 gives you an idea of how many different jobs the venerable 807 did well. They are no longer made in the USA, but are still churned out in Russia and China.