Paul Eisler

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Paul Eisler
Paul Eisler with the first radio set using a printed circuit chassis and aerial coil. (Photo: Maurice Hubert, Multitech UK)
Vienna, Austria
Died26 October 1992 (85 years)
Alma mater Vienna University of Technology
Scientific career
Fields Electrical engineering

Paul Eisler (1907 – 26 October 1992, London) was an Austrian inventor born in Vienna. Among his innovations were the printed circuit board. In 2012, Printed Circuit Design & Fab magazine named its Hall of Fame after Eisler. [1]

Vienna Capital of Austria

Vienna is the federal capital, largest city and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today it is the second largest German-speaking city after Berlin and just before Hamburg. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Printed circuit board Board to support and connect electronic components

A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.


Early life and education

He graduated in engineering from Vienna University of Technology in 1930. Being Jewish, antisemitic German-Nationalist organizations prevented him from getting an engineering job in Vienna, so he obtained employment with the English recording technology firm (Gramaphone Company, EMI from March 1931) operating under its His Master's Voice brand in Belgrade. [2] :15 His task there was to eliminate radio interference on the music broadcast system on trains running from Belgrade to Niś. [2] :16 The project was a technical success but a financial failure because the Serbian railroad could only pay HMV by barter in grain, not pounds sterling, due a foreign exchange crisis. As a result, he had to return to Vienna. He was still prevented from working as an engineer, but he found work as a journalist and printer, first at Randfunk (which developed a low-cost method of tabulating a radio program guide at the printer) and eventually landing at a social-democratic publisher, Vorwärts. The experience in printing proved crucial later. However, after the 1934 putsch by Austrian fascists and due to social-democratic nature of Vorwärts it was shut down. [2] :17 Working independently, he patented some ideas from his doctorate at the university (on graphical sound recording and stereoscopic television) and leveraged them to obtain a visa to visit England to offer the patents to companies there in 1936. [2] :18–19 His first cousin, Philipp Fehl, contacted Eisler upon arrival as a refugee in England and Eisler helped to make sure that Fehl's father left Vienna alive after his release from the Dachau concentration camp.[ citation needed ]

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

His Masters Voice trademark, former major British record label

His Master's Voice (HMV) is a famous trademark in the recording industry and was the unofficial name of a major British record label. The phrase was coined in the 1890s as the title of a painting of a terrier mix dog named Nipper, listening to a wind-up disc gramophone. In the original painting, the dog was listening to a cylinder phonograph. In the 1970s, the statue of the dog and gramophone, His Master's Voice, were cloaked in bronze and was awarded by the record company (EMI) to artists or music producers or composers as a music award and often only after selling more than 100,000 recordings.

Belgrade City in Serbia

Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkan Peninsula. The urban area of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while within administrative limits of the City of Belgrade live nearly 1.7 million people, a quarter of total population of Serbia.


Living in a Hampstead boarding house, without work or a work permit, he began to fabricate a radio using a printed circuit board while trying to sell some of his ideas. Around this time, the Odeon hired him to work on their cinema technology. One of the common problems there was coping with theatre goers who spilled foods such as ice cream on the seats. Eisler devised a yellow fabric to cover affected furniture for the benefit of the next theater goer as well as flag it for removal and cleaning at the next opportunity.

Hampstead area of north London, England

Hampstead, is an area of London, England, 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland. It has some of the most expensive housing in the London area. Hampstead has more millionaires within its boundaries than any other area of the United Kingdom.

A work permit is the permission to take a job within a foreign country. It may also be a permit given to minors allowing them to work legally under child labor laws. Within an industry, a work permit may be required to execute certain functions within a factory outside normal operational tasks — in some places they might be called Permit to Work (PTW).

Odeon, sometimes stylised as ODEON, is a cinema brand name operating in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway, which along with UCI Cinemas and Nordic Cinema Group is part of the Odeon Cinemas Group subsidiary of AMC Theatres. It uses the famous name of the Odeon cinema circuit first introduced in Britain in 1930.

Though he was able to help several members of his family escape Austria, he was subject to internment by the British as an enemy alien after the onset of World War II. [3] After being released in 1941 and a short spell in the Pioneer Corps, he was able to engage Henderson and Spalding, a lithography company in Camberwell run by Harold Vezey-Strong, to invest in his printed circuit idea via a specially created subsidiary of Henderson and Spalding called Technograph, but forfeited rights to his invention when he neglected to read the contract before signing it. It was a pretty standard employment contract in that he agreed to submit any patent right during his employment for a nominal fee (one pound sterling) but it also gave him 16.5 percent ownership of Technograph. It drew no interest until the United States incorporated the technology into work on the proximity fuze which was vital to counter the German V-1 flying bomb. [3] However, he did manage to obtain his first three printed circuit patent for a wide range of applications. They were split out from a single application submitted in 1943 and finally published after long legal procedures on 21 June 1950. [4] [5] [6]

Internment imprisonment or confinement of groups of people without trial

Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges, and thus no trial. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects". Thus, while it can simply mean imprisonment, it tends to refer to preventive confinement rather than confinement after having been convicted of some crime. Use of these terms is subject to debate and political sensitivities.

In customary international law, an enemy alien is any native, citizen, denizen or subject of any foreign nation or government with which a domestic nation or government is in conflict and who are liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured and removed. Usually, but not always, the countries are in a state of declared war.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

After the war ended, the United States opened access to his printed circuit innovation and since 1948, it has been used in all airborne instrument electronics. Very few companies acknowledged or licensed Technograph's patents and the company had financial difficulties. He resigned from Technograph in 1957. Among his projects as a freelancer, were films to heat "floor and wall coverings" [7] and food, for example, fish fingers. [7] The wallpaper idea was viable, but interest waned after the advent of cheaper energy resources with the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea.

Avionics electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites, and spacecraft

Avionics are the electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites, and spacecraft. Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems, and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to perform individual functions. These can be as simple as a searchlight for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an airborne early warning platform. The term avionics is a portmanteau of the words aviation and electronics.

Fish finger Dish consisting of breaded and fried fish

Fish fingers or fish sticks are a processed food made using a whitefish, such as cod, hake, haddock or pollock, which has been battered or breaded. They are commonly available in the frozen food section of supermarkets. They can be baked in the oven, grilled, shallow fried, or deep-fried.

Wallpaper material used to cover and decorate interior walls

Wallpaper is a material used in interior decoration to decorate the interior walls of domestic and public buildings. It is usually sold in rolls and is applied onto a wall using wallpaper paste. Wallpapers can come plain as "lining paper", textured, with a regular repeating pattern design, or, much less commonly today, with a single non-repeating large design carried over a set of sheets. The smallest rectangle that can be tiled to form the whole pattern is known as the pattern repeat.

Eisler invented many other practical applications of heating technology, such as the pizza warmer and rear window defroster, but was not so successful in their commercialization.

In 1963, Technograph lost a lawsuit against Bendix over most of the claims in the US versions of patents.


He was awarded the Pour le Mérite by the French government. The Institute of Electrical Engineers awarded him the Nuffield Silver medal. [3]

<i>Pour le Mérite</i> Kingdom of Prussias highest order of merit

The Pour le Mérite is an order of merit established in 1740 by King Frederick II of Prussia. The Pour le Mérite was awarded as both a military and civil honour and ranked, along with the Order of the Black Eagle, the Order of the Red Eagle and the House Order of Hohenzollern, among the highest orders of merit in the Kingdom of Prussia. After 1871, when the various German kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities and Hanseatic city states had come together under Prussian leadership to form the federally structured German Empire, the Prussian honours gradually assumed, at least in public perception, the status of honours of Imperial Germany, even though many honours of the various German states continued to be awarded.

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Pykrete composite of sawdust/wood pulp and ice

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  1. "Printed Circuit Design & Fab Magazine Online" . Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Paul Eisler ; edited with notes by Mari Williams. (1989). My life with the printed circuit. Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press. ISBN   0-934223-04-1.
  3. 1 2 3 Medawar & Pyke. p. 93.
  4. GB 639178
  5. GB 639111
  6. GB 639179
  7. 1 2 "Archive of BBC biography of Paul Eisler". Archived from the original on 2006-01-18.