Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Guide to the Don Liddie papers on Signetics
Bulk Dates: 1975-1992
Collection number: 102708137
Liddie, Donald F., 1930-2008
42 linear feet
Computer History Museum
Abstract: The Don Liddie papers on Signetics contain the professional papers of Don Liddie, a Signetics employee from 1963 through
1995. The collection documents the corporate culture of the semiconductor industry and Silicon Valley from the late 1960s
through the mid 1990s. Types of material include memoranda, correspondence, newsletters, policy manuals, procedure manuals,
promotional material, data books, annual reports, organizational charts, business plans, photographs, and scrapbooks.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
The Computer History Museum can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any
claims of the copyright holder. Permission to copy or publish any portion of the Computer History Museum's collection must
be given by the Computer History Museum.
[Identification of Item], [Date], Guide to the Don Liddie papers on Signetics, X4609.2008, Box[#], Folder[#] Computer History
Museum, Mountain View, California.
The Don Liddie papers were donated by Don Liddie to the Computer History Museum in 2008. These are the papers Don Liddie collected
during his thirty-five year career working at Signetics.
Biography / Administrative History
Signetics, a contraction of Signal Network Electronics, was founded in 1961 in Mountain View, California by former Fairchild
employees David Allison, David James, Lionel Kartner and Mark Weisenstein. It was the first company in the world established
expressly to make and sell integrated circuits (IC). Within a year of its founding, the company's first family of bipolar
digital diode transistor logic circuits had gained market acceptance and were finding initial application in military and
space systems. Signetics was the first IC company to receive both Minuteman approval (1967) and NASA line certification 1970).
Among the company's early innovations were the 555 timer, Dolby circuits, and the programmable read-only memory.
|1930 July 23
||Donald Ferguson Liddie is born in Newark, New Jersey
||Liddie graduates from LeHigh University with a BS in Industrial Engineering
|1952 June-1954 Aug.
||Liddie is Industrial Engineer, Western Electric Company
|1954 Aug.-1956 Aug.
||Liddie is Assistant Industrial Engineer, Edgewood Arsenal U.S. Army Chemical Center
|1956 Aug.-1959 June
||Liddie is Senior Industrial Engineer, Corning Glass Works
|1959 June-1961 Sept.
||Liddie is Plant Industrial Engineer, Corning Glass Works
|1961 Sept.-1963 Sept.
||Liddie is Plant Supervisor-Administrative Services, Corning Glass Works
|1961 Sept. 12
||Signetics is founded by former Fairchild employees Dave Allison, David James, Lionel Katttner and Mark Weissenstern
||Construction of first Signetics plant is completed, Sunnyvale, California
||Corning Glass Works (CGW) acquires a 51% equity position in Signetics
|1963 Sept. 1
||Liddie is first CGW employee to transfer to Signetics
|1963 Sept.-1966 Jan.
||Liddie is Manager, Manufacturing at Signetics
||Corning Glass Works increases their equity position to 82%
|1966 Jan.-1968 Dec.
||Liddie is Manager, Corporate Services at Signetics
|1966 Aug. 9
||First off-site branch product assembly plant opens in Provo, Utah. It is the first IC assembly plant located outside the Santa
||Signetics Korea Co., Ltd. (Sig-Kor) is founded in Seoul, South Korea. It is the first low-cost production facility to both
assemble and test ICs in Asia
||Signetics International Corporation is established in anticipation of the emergence of overseas markets
|1969 Jan-1980 April
|| Liddie is President, Signetics International Corporation
||EFTA plant opens in Linlithgow, Scotland
||Assembly and test plant opens in Noerdlingen, West Germany
||High volume assembly and test plant opens in Setubal, Portugal
|1973 Nov. 2
||Initial public offering of 1.3 million shares of common stock at $17/share. This reduces CGW ownership from 92% to 70%
|1974 March 28
||Registered Signetics Thailand Co., Ltd. (Sig-Thai). Assembly and test operations begin in Bangkok, Thailand
|1975 June 5
||Merger with U.S. Philips Corporation a wholly-owned subsidiary of N.V. Philips of the Netherlands, at $8/share
|1975 Dec.-1984 Jan.
||Liddie is Vice President, Corporate Services at Signetics
||Signetics Japan, Ltd begins operations
||Linlithgow plant closes and is sold to Sun Microsystems
||Setubal, Portugal plant closes
|1978 March 29
||Signetics Filippinas (Sig-Fil) incorporated in Manila, the Philippines
||Signetics has 21 operating buildings in Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, California area
||Official operations begin in a new Albuquerque, New Mexico plant
||Manila plant is sold
|1983 Nov. 7
||Sale of Signetics Gmbh to SES employees is announced
|1984 Jan.-1992 Dec.
||Liddie is Vice President, Human Resources and Administration at Signetics
||Signetics is the first IC company to announce a zero defects warranty on all products
|1988 Jan. 1
||Signetics merged into North American Philips Corporation (NAPC)
|1991 Jan. 1
||Signetics is a wholly owned subsidiary of NAPC
||Closure of Orem, Utah plant by year end is announced
||Signetics Corporation, a division of North American Philips Corporation, changes its name to Philips
|1993 Jan.-1995 Aug.
||Liddie is appointed Executive Vice President and Chairman, Management Committee Philips Semiconductors
||Liddie retires after 39 years
|2008 April 14
||Don Liddie passes away at his home in Saratoga, California
Scope and Content of Collection
The Don Liddie papers on Signetics contain the professional records of Don Liddie. The records span 1961 through 2006 with
the bulk of the collection spanning 1975 through 1992, when Lidde was Vice President of Corporate Services and then Vice President
of Human Resources and Administration at Signetics. Signetics merged with Philips in 1975, from that date forward in the collection
Philips material appears. Items of note include a nearly complete run of Probe, the Signetics newsletter, as well as a series
of scrapbooks, which Liddie created to document the history of Signetics. The scrapbooks contain especially unique material
related to Signetics' international plants. Of special interest to engineers are data books and failure analysis handbooks.
The collection is arranged in 5 series:
- Series 1: Office Files
- Series 2: Printed
- Series 3: Signetics History Scrapbooks
- Series 4: Audiovisual and Oversize Materials
- Series 5: Ephemera
Unless otherwise noted dates are inclusive. Unless otherwise noted in the series and subseries descriptions the original order
has been maintained.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Liddie, Donald F., 1930-2008
Physical objects and media were separated from the collection. These include T-shirts, mugs, paperweights, banners, a
commemorative vase, audio cassettes, and VHS tapes. To view catalog records for the physical objects and media items go to
the CHM website at
Serials that were moved to the library:
Electronic buyer's news extra March 4, 1996
- Electronic buyer's news Issue 615A September 1988
- Who's who in high-tech: a directory of high-ranking executives in Silicon Valley February 1992, and February 1993
- Bay area market fact guide, 1996
- Electronic engineering times, Issue 503A September 1988
Monographs that were moved to the library:
- High tech: window to the future, 1985
- Individual freedom in the non-union plant, 1967
- Industrial relations in the non-union plant, 1960
- Invention of LOCOS, 1991
- Marketing high technology: an insider's view, 1986
- Philips: brand book, 2002
- Quality is free: the art of making quality certain, 1979
- Science and serendipity: a half century of innovation at SYNTEX, 1994
- Sum that is Philips, 1983
- Transitor: dawn of a new era, 1997
- Occupational medicine: the microelectronics industry, 1986