After studying electronics at the University of Dresden, Gerhard Fisher immigrated to the United States. While working as a Research Engineer in Los Angeles, California his work with air craft radio detection finders led him to the idea of a portable metal detector. Fisher shared the idea with Albert Einstein who correctly predicted the proliferation of hand held metal detector use.
Although the actual inventor of the hand-held metal detector is disputed, the hand-held metal detector was first patented by Dr. Gerhard Fisher in the late 1920’s. A metal detector had been invented some forty years earlier (1881) by Alexander Graham Bell for the sole purpose of locating a lead bullet in President James A. Garfield. Fisher’s model was first sold commercially in 1931 and Gerhard Fisher was behind the first large-scale production of metal detectors.
In the late 1920’s, Dr. Gerhard Fisher, the founder of Fisher Research Laboratory was commissioned as a research engineer with the Federal Telegraph Co. and Western Air Express to develop airborne direction finding equipment. He was awarded some of the first patents issued in the field of airborne direction finding by means of radio. In the course of his work, he encountered some strange errors and once he solved these problems, he had the foresight to apply the solution to a completely unrelated field, that of metal and mineral detection.
The Fisher name is very well known among the metal detector crowd. During the 1930’s Dr Fisher was hired by the U.S. Navy to install a radio direction finder aboard the USS Macon, a Navy Dirigible. It was at this time that while aboard the Dirigible he noticed that large metal structures and mineralized mountains cancelled out the capabilities of the instrument. This condition led him to invent the very first metal detector.