Normally we talk about "breadboarding" circuits. As I understand it, early electronics experimenters did indeed acquire a wooden "breadboard" used for cutting bread. By hammering in brass nails and screwing in tube sockets supported by spacers, wires could be laid on the surface and a circuit constructed. Over time, the breadboard itself was replaced, while the process was still called "breadboarding."
Here is an "AirBoard" construction, larger than life. Note the lack of printed circuit board, punched board, standoffs, or any physical stability whatsoever. The (few) parts are just tack-soldered to each other, allowing rapid value change and circuit modification.
The AirBoard construction is really only suitable for proto-prototypes; circuits intended for use must be more physically stable than this! After we see what parts we will use, it makes more sense to lay them out, and for this is sometimes helpful to squash the AirBoard down.
Last updated: 1999-03-09