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PCB Facts

If you are involved in electronics, or just familiar with typical consumer products, it’s likely you are familiar with the purpose of printed circuit boards (PCBs). You probably know how commonplace and necessary they are in today’s technologically dependent world. But even though printed circuit boards are found in almost every device we use on a daily basis, you might not know these four facts about them:


PCBs were around in the early-to-mid 1900s and were used in some gramophones and tube radios. They might not have looked like the PCBs we see today, but no matter, they helped introduce new advancements into consumers, just as they do today.


Paul Eisler, who is sometimes referred to as the Father of the Modern Printed Circuit Board, was an Austrian inventor who was working at a music printing company in the mid-1900’s. He shared his idea for a new invention — what would become the very first printed circuit board and the company decided to bankroll his idea. His invention led directly to the types of printed circuit boards we produce today.


The green material you see on the PCB layout is the solder mask. But these days, solder mask can be made in many different colors — so why have printed circuit boards continued to stay green? Some think it can be traced back to their use in the American military, where both rigid and flexible circuit boards have been common since development of the auto-assembly process in the mid-1950s.


As an integral part of NASA’s space program, printed circuit boards helped get the Apollo 11 astronauts safely to the moon and back. Circuit boards are lightweight and require only a small amount of electricity, so they were ideal for complex electronics in close quarters, such as a spacecraft.

So don’t assume these types of technologies are a new technology. They have had a long, and significant history.

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