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11 September 2014

When was the battery invented?

Batteries are the most common sources of electrical power production in the modern society. As a matter of fact, batteries did manage to cause the major evolution of the world from using wood and fuel to produce fire energy for cooking, warmth and lighting purposes to having a stable electrical grid line system that enable every household to utilize their power efficiently every day.

How and when was the first battery invented?

In as much we have been born in an age where having electrical power is very common and it is one main primary supply that the entire world can no longer do without; in order to understand why electrical power has become one of the most important entities in the world we need to understand its origin.

Before the invention of the battery the human race used fire as the main source of energy. Fire was also held with its risks of burning the environment or the individuals using it if mishandled.

The invention of power is taken back to the year 250 B.C. when the Parthian made a jar out of clay and filled with vinegar and also place copper cylinders and finally an iron rod that stuck out of the jar at the very top.

Even though this source of power was not recognized like in the present day to be used to light up a room, it was used to electroplate the silver they owned. Eventually this idea was lost through the centuries and no one ever explored the possibilities of creating electrical power with this concept.

In the 1700s the then living scientist came to realize that there was a world of inventions that they had barely began to explore and thus ventured into conducting this exploration.

The idea of creating electrical current started off with Luigi Galvani in 1780. He was dissecting a frog that was fixed to a brass hook and noted that whenever he touched his iron scalpel on the leg of the dead frog the leg would twitch.

He concluded that the leg twitching movement occurred as a result of the leg itself even though the frog was not alive to conduct any body movement. He called this discovery the animal electricity.

Another scientist- Alessandro Volta who had been a close friend and colleague of Galvani did not concur to this “animals electricity” conclusion. He rather said that the twitching leg movement was rather a result of two metals joined together by an intermediary that was moist.

In 1791 he examined his own hypothesis with several experiment and published these results until he finally made his breakthrough in 1800. Volta invented the very first bona fide battery known to man and it was named the voltaic pile.

It consisted of pairs of copper and zinc discs which were piled on top of each other while being separated with cloth or cardboard layers that are soaked in brine. The voltaic pile was reported to produce a continuous flow of electrical current and the battery life was calculated to last to utmost one hour.

This discovery was further challenged by William Cruickshank who developed the trough battery to avoid the quick corrosion of the zinc and copper plates as well as find ways to enhance the car battery life span to more than one hour.

Hence, these advancement were gradually developed leading to the industrial batteries now used to supply electrical power to billions of recipients.


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