In 1903, German inventor Albert Hanson described multiple layers of flat coil conductors laminated to an insulating board. The very next year, Thomas Edison experimented with methods of mounting conductors onto linen paper. In 1927, Charles Durcase patented a technique of electroplating circuit patterns. Each one of these small discoveries helped pave the way to manufacturing the amazing and complex electronics we now use every day.
Before the widespread use of printed circuits, point-to-point construction was practiced. The turning point came during World War II when the development of the anti-aircraft proximity fuse required the use of an electronic circuit that could be fired from a gun. The Centralab Division of Globe Union proposed a method that met those requirements: a ceramic plate would be screen printed with metallic paint and carbon material, used as conductors and resistors. Ceramic disc capacitors and subminiature vacuum tubes would be soldered in place. The method worked, and the patent was assigned to Globe Union.
Interesting Facts About Circuit Boards
We now have the PCB, or printed circuit board, which is used in so many of our electronic devices, as well as medical and automotive technology. It’s flexible PCB manufacturers that allow us to create such small devices with such enormous power.