THE PIONEER OF PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD (PCB) – PAUL EISLER
Not all great minds are inventors but Paul Eisler was one; he possessed the ability of turning ideas into something practical, a virtue of a true engineer. Paul Eisler was born in Vienna, Austria on August 3rd, 1907. Those were the days when the field of electronics was still in its infancy. Being Jewish by religion didn’t help the guy at all and he had to face many hardships throughout his life but those hurdles didn’t take his genius away.
Education and Early Career
At the age of 5 years, he began his formal education at a local school. He was quick at elementary learning so it was the matter of only few years when he was ready for some higher education at college. He was taken in by Hallway College where he found his love for engineering. After getting his Higher School Certificate from Hallway College he moved to Vienna to pursue higher learning.
He got in Vienna University of Technology as an engineering student (Technische Universität Wien). Paul was talented, skilled and a quick learner so he got his engineering degree from the university in 1930 at a very young age of 23. Then he moved on to find out that there is no appropriate job for him in Austria because of his religion. He accepted a temporary job in Yugoslavia where his job was to design radio electronic system for a train. That venture ended quickly and after receiving his remuneration he had to make his way back to Austria.
Inventing Printed Circuit Board
Every invention is a solution to a problem. Back in those days, electronic devices and components were interconnected with each other using soldering wires laid down on floors, which was a dangerous, maintenance-hungry and inefficient method.
Eisler spotted that problem and started to think about ways where he can lay down wiring in a safe manner on an insulated plane and then electronic components could be mounted on that wire ridden plane. It would have made an efficient and safe circuit that required little to no maintenance.
Eisler looked at different methods to convert his idea into a product and finally his eyes stopped on the printing process. He visualized a product with an insulated base like glass or plastic with wires printed on it that can conduct electricity.
During his research, he had to flee from Austria to save his life from Nazis who were killing Jews left and right. He received an invitation from England in 1936 to work. He succeeded in inventing an early prototype of Printed Circuit Board while living in Hampstead boarding house and took it to a telephone company that encouraged the idea but declined to adopt it because it wasn’t cost effective. Paul had to go through tons of hardships because of World War II but during that time period he continued his development of the very first radio that used a printed circuit board and a aerial coil.
Honors and Death
Because of his ingenuity, Paul Eisler received Nuffield Silver Medal from The Institute of Electrical Engineers and the French Government awarded him with Pour Le Merite. This great contributor of the field of electronics died on September 26th, 1992. His invention, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is still used in billions of devices around the world.
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