The book provides an overview of the fascinating spectrum of semiconductor physics, devices and applications, presented from a historical perspective. It covers the development of the subject from its inception in the early nineteenth century to the recent millennium. Written in a lively, informal style, it emphasizes the interaction between pure scientific push and commercial pull, on the one hand, and between basic physics, materials, and devices, on the other. It also sets the various device developments in the context of systems requirements and explains how such developments met wide ranging consumer demands. It is written so as to appeal to students at all levels in physics, electrical engineering, and materials science, to teachers, lecturers, and professionals working in the field, as well as to a non-specialist scientific readership.