Radio with the first Printed Circuit Board by Paul Eisler, 1942.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This radio was the first working device to use a printed circuit board (PCB), the electronic technology invented by Paul Eisler (1907-1995). An Austrian refugee in London, he made this radio in 1942, following on from his initial experiments in 1936. At the time, it was usual to interconnect all components in electronic goods with hand-soldered wires, a method of manufacture which did not lend itself to any high degree of automation. First applied in proximity fuses for anti-aircraft missiles, PCB's have subsequently found near universal application in electronic goods, yielding highly miniaturised devices, which can be mass produced.