Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,405 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Dr. William Henry Eccles D.Sc., A.R.C.S., M.I.E.E., F.R.S., (1875-1966) was a British physicist and engineer notable for being an early associate of Guglielmo Marconi, for his theory of radio propagation via ionic refraction in the upper atmosphere, and for being the co-designer of the Eccles–Jordan trigger circuit, now better known as the "flip-flop".
1875: Born 23rd August 1875 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire.
1899: Became one of Marconi's early assistants at the Marconi Company, working on "jiggers" (high frequency oscillation transformers). Developed a bench-based method for testing coherers an early form of radio-wave detector. He was also involved in the design of the masts to be used at Poldhu for the transatlantic experiments. Much of this work was conducted at the Haven Hotel near Poole. 
1900: Left the Marconi Company to assume the post of head of the mathematics and physics department of the South Western Polytechnic in Chelsea.
1901: Awarded D.Sc (London), one of the theses he presented being a study on coherers.
1910- Carried out significant research on the oscillating crystal.
1912: Appointed to a readership at University College, London, in graphic statics (structural engineering design).
1912: Refined Heaviside's explanation of radio wave propagation through reflection in the upper atmosphere with his theory of ionic refraction, and described the part played by sunlight.
Eccles was the operator of a pre-WW1 experimental wireless station with the callsign EWX (later 2BA), a founder member of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and long term champion of amateur radio in the UK.
1913: Elected Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, M.I.E.E.
During the First World War, Dr. Eccles acted as advisor to the War Office, the army council, the wireless technical committee of the air force, and to the Admiralty.
1919: With F.W. Jordan, Professor Eccles read the paper before the British Association (Section G -Engineering) outlining the Eccles-Jordan trigger, the first digital circuit. The paper describes a circuit that:
..when operated by a small triggering electrical impulse, undergoes great changes in regard to its electrical equilibrium, and then remains in the new condition until re-set.
1921-1922: Vice-chairman of the Wireless Telegraphy Commission, set up to provide detailed technical advice further to the Norman Committee recommendations. Although, in the main, the proposals of the Committee (and the Commission) were not followed up, the design of the G.P.O station at Rugby was based on the report recommendations.
1921: Elected Fellow of the Royal Society.
1922: Vice-Pres. of the Physical Soc. and of the Inst. of Physics.
1923: Member of the Sykes Committee, commissioned by Parliament to investigate BBC funding and its monopoly position.
1923-24: Became President of the Radio Society of Great Britain.
1924: Married Nellie Florence Paterson (born 1894/5).
1926: Chaired an independent committee (the 'Eccles Committee') set up to report on Capt. P.P. Eckersley's "Regional plan" to allow the BBC to provide regional services rather than town- and city-based services. The Committee endorsed the BBC's plan.
1926–27: President of Institution of Electrical Engineers.
1928-30: President of the Physical Society.
1929-31: President of the Institute of Physics.
1966: Died 29th April 1966, in Oxford.
Author of 3 books on radio: Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony: a handbook of formulæ, data and information (second edition, 1918); Continuous wave wireless telegraphy (1921); and Wireless (1933).