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'American Experience's' 'Silicon Valley' has Long Island connection

Jean Hoerni, one of the National Inventors Hall

Jean Hoerni, one of the National Inventors Hall of Fame 2009 inductees, who died in 1997, was co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor. Credit: AP

Readers with long memories may recall Fairchild Camera & Instruments, a major Long Island employer based in Syosset, and later bought by Schlumberger ... and why would it be part of a post on a TV blog? Because on Tuesday's “American Experience,” titled “Silicon Valley,” it assumes a starring role, as the company that funded a group of engineers -- including the legendary Robert Noyce -- who left a William Shockley start-up to begin their own start-up in Silicon Valley back in the '50s.

Members of this core group were the founding fathers of the silicon microchip, which of course changed the world. Their company was called Fairchild Semiconductor (still around) though it would later seed Intel. Interesting broadcast for anyone interested in the history of this remarkable industry. A clip:

Watch Silicon Valley Preview on PBS. See more from American Experience.

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