The June 2024 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

And Now This... A Flexible Approach

Bendable circuitry has a surprisingly long history

1 min read

Photo: Ben Alsop
Photo: Ben Alsop

Electronic circuits that can bend and flex seem to bring out the science fiction writer in many a reporter (and indeed they’ve been used in numerous sci-fi movies and TV shows as a convenient way to underline the futuristic nature of a setting). Current excitement about the technology is centered on materials such as OLEDs and carbon nanotubes. But as this ad from May 1965 shows, the exciting future of flexible circuits is actually an old story. (Also worth noting is the reference to Princess telephones, which were first introduced in 1959 and sold until 1994. They are now considered a collectible design classic.)

Part of a continuing series looking the story of technology as told through advertisements.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions