I know I have a nuvistor somewhere in my collected piles of... *ahem* superbly handled integrated technology
, I just don't seem to be able to lay hands on it at the moment. I hope it hasn't 'grown legs' and walked away.
However, I was able to find a few examples of early miniature electronics technology in my 'collection'. (see attached pic)
On the left, a couple of pencil tubes from the 50's. At top, a 2N158 germanium transistor from 1956 or `57. Note that it's bigger than a nuvistor. And on the right (just for fun), a few fetrons (look them up) from the 70's.
Now, to the original question, would my job or hobby change if transistors had never been invented?
Probably not. I was still repairing and maintaining tube-based equipment well into the 90's and currently sitting next to my workbench at home is a Harman Kardon Stereo Festival receiver from 1958 that's getting new caps and FM tubes, right after I finish refurbishing a Pioneer AM/FM/turntable/8-track console from the early 70's for an old
um, friend. (Don't tell my wife.
But all this new-fangled stuff is fun, too.