The HB-106 is many firsts:

  • It is the first modern Nixie tube.Unlike previous tubes from National Union, this tube has an anode grid that makes driving the tubes much easier and more reliable.
  • It is the first tube with the B13B base, which was subsequently used by many tubes made in many countries.
  • It is the tube that defined the word ‘Nixie’, which was a trademark of the Burroughs corporation.

The HB-106 first appeared in an advertisement dated from 1955, whereas the data sheet for the National Union tubes is dated 1954.

Burroughs developed this tube, but by the time it was produced, they had bought the Haydu Brothers’ company, who were a specialist tube manufacturer. ‘HB’ stands for Haydu Brothers . All subsequent tubes made by Burroughs  start with a ‘B’.

An interesting aspect of this tube is that you can see straight through it. All subsequent top view tubes have a solid cup that contains the digits, which improves their visibility.

The successor to this tube was the B6844A – the specs below are taken from the data sheet for that tube.

Digit size 15.5mm
Average current 2.5mA
Base  B13B

This is the advert:

HB-106 Advert
HB-106 Nixie Tube Advert

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