for 61 years until Margaret’s death in 1984. The couple had three children, Kenneth, Philip, and Margaret.
In 1929, Erik began conducting business with J. Clarence Karcher, the husband of his wife’s cousin. Karcher and Eugene McDermott were using reflection seismology to search for oil. Erik joined their company in 1930 as head of their laboratory in Newark, New Jersey. He later said he thought Karcher and McDermott were “crazy” for starting a business during the Depression, but he admired them and wanted to be part of the venture.
The company, Geophysical Service Inc. (GSI), manufactured equipment to locate oil. Because of the nature of the business, in 1934 the firm moved to Dallas, closer to the oil fields. After the company had made a few significant oil discoveries of its own, Stanoline Oil (later Standard Oil of New Jersey) decided to buy the company in 1941. However, the new owners did not want the oil exploration part of the business, so Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, Cecil Green, and H. Bates Peacock bought it. The deal was closed on December 6, 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor.
Because of their experience making seismometers, GSI soon had a contract making magnetic detectors as antisubmarine devices. Erik Jonsson became the sales representative in Washington, and the business grew into sonar, radar, and other military equipment. At the end of the war, the military business was bigger than the geophysical business, so they changed the name to Texas Instruments (TI), and Erik Jonsson became president of the company in 1951.
In 1952, at the urging of Pat Haggerty who had joined the company in 1945, Erik persuaded a reluctant Western Electric to sell TI a license to manufacture transistors; Western Electric had thought TI was too young and inexperienced a company to succeed. Nevertheless, TI got the license in May and produced its first transistor by Christmas. By 1954, the first pocket-sized transistor radio, using TI’s mass-produced transistors, appeared on the market. TI subsequently introduced a number of pioneering innovations in semiconductors, including breakthrough production of silicon transistors and the integrated circuit. Erik