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13 September 2014

Information about early batteries

The very first electrical battery was discovered by Alessandro Volta in 1800. He found that a steady flow of electric power was generated when some specific fluids were treated as a conductor in a particular manner. He further noticed that the voltage would be comparatively higher when the voltaic cell were piled up on each other. He discovered that as the distance between two unlike objects increased, the results of potential voltage became stronger. In the same year, a never ending stream of electric current was being seen. He found out that each metal in a battery had variations in electrical effects. He further studied about the two stages:

  1. Similarity of the metals to attract electrons
  2. The standard potential from their previous stage of oxidation.

He further announced the discovery of his uninterrupted medium of electricity to the Royal Society of London.

France’s initiation to recognize Volta’s potential

In the same year, France was welcoming the new ideas and thoughts which were significant to scientific advancements. So, Volta was invited by the Institute of France for the purpose of delivering some lectures. At that occasion, Napolean Bonaparte being a member of the institute was deeply impressed with him. As a result, France became one of the nations who identified Volta’s discoveries in an official manner. In November 1800, Volta was invited to lectures by French National Institute in which Napolean was also present. He helped Volta in his respective experiments which involved melting a steel wire, decomposing water into various elements and thus forming base for early batteries.

Sir Humphry Davy’s discovery

Sir Humphry Davy was the inventor of miner’s safety lamp in 1800. He started to test the various chemical effects related to electricity. In the mean time, it was found that the passing of electrical current through substances resulted in decomposition. This process was later termed as electrolysis. He made unique discoveries by setting up of the world’s strongest battery in the vaults of Royal Institution of London. He generated the first electric light by attaching the battery to charcoal electrodes. It is believed that the most effective and amazing arch of light was seen by his voltaic arc lamp.

William Cruickshank’s first electric battery

William Cruickshank built the first electric battery for mass production in 1802; it was one of the few early batteries which shaped the modern conception of cells. Cruickshank managed to arrange square-shaped copper sheets, along with same-sized sheets of zinc. In a long and rectangular wooden box, these sheets were placed and fused together. The metal plates were held by the grooves in the box in an accurate position. The sealed box was then saturated, with an electrolyte of brine, or a watered-down acid, which almost looked similar to the flooded battery that is possessed by us even today.

Cruickshank’s first flooded battery

William Cruickshank who was an English chemist, designed a battery of electric cells by linking zinc and copper plates together in a wooden box, filled with an electrolyte solution. This design served two benefits which are mentioned below:

  1. It didn’t dry out with more and more consumption
  2. It generated more energy as compared to the Volta’s disc arrangement.


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