The First Printed Circuit Board Was Created by a Refugee in WWII

small batch pcb assembly

Printed circuit board assembly services are able to handle the most intricate, small, and advanced electronic processes. If you’re an engineer looking for small batch PCB assembly, it’s easy to take these electrical components and systems for granted, but the technology wasn’t always around, and if it weren’t for an Austrian refugee, might not have ever existed.

The modern electronics industry was changed forever when Paul Eisler, a Viennese engineer and inventor, created the printed circuit board.

Eisler, born in 1907, graduated with an engineering degree from Vienna University of Technology in 1930. He started designing a radio-electronic system for a train, which was pretty advanced for the 1930s, especially considering that he was paid in grain instead of currency.

This radio, after Eisler spent a few years tweaking it, was the first working device to use a printed circuit board. At the time, it was standard to interconnect all components in electronic devices with hand-soldered wires, a method of manufacturing which did not lend itself to any high degree of automation.

First applied to proximity fuses for anti-aircraft missiles, PCBs have subsequently found near universal application in electronic goods, yielding highly miniaturized devices, which can be mass produced.

In 1995, more than 50 years after the introduction of Eisler’s invention, the PCB market became a $7.1 billion industry. By the time the New Millennium came around, the PCB industry reached the $10 billion mark and has since tripled over the last 15 years.

Obviously, there have been a few advancements to the technology and small batch PCB assembly since the 1930s, like software programs, automation technology, and fabrication and assembly advancements, but Eisler still revolutionized the modern tech industry, and subsequently the entire world.

Before PCB design software was introduced, PCBs were designed using clear Mylar sheets, which are up to four times larger than the PCB itself. Designers and manufacturers would create a transparent photomask of the proposed design on these transparent Mylar sheets. Although complicated, this method was still much more advanced than Eisler’s radio PCB.

If you want to learn more about the PCB technology or small batch PCB assembly, contact Advanced Assembly today


Leave a Reply