The first printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be traced all the back to the early 1900s and a patent for “printed wire.” It was in 1925 that Charles Ducas first submitted a patent that involved creating an electrical path directly on an insulated surface. It was a revolutionary idea because it could eliminate complex wiring and provide consistent results. Still, they didn’t really catch on until after WWII, when Dr. Paul Eisler in Austria began making the first real operational printed circuit boards in 1943.
Before printed circuits became the common component used in electronics, point to point construction was used. This meant some extremely bulky and unreliable designs that required large sockets and regular replacement. Most of these issues were directly addressed when PCBs went into regular production.