History of Batteries - Invention and Inventor

The inventions of batteries provided incredible boost to the capability of our modern civilization to evolve, build new technologies, and change the way we live our lives forever. This incredible achievement was first introduced to the modern scientific community by Italian physicist and inventor Alessandro Volta in 1800, who first formulated the description of how simple chemical reaction can provide steady flow of electrons that can be used as electrical current. However, his monumental invention was built on top of the knowledge of several other scientists who contributed with their early work with electricity, static electricity, and bioelectricity.

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Battery History

History of batteries covers more than 200 years of our modern civilization. During this time advances in chemistry, manufacture and techniques have enabled creation of countless types of portable batteries.

Battery Facts

Here you can learn a lot of useful information, facts and tips about battery manufacture, battery types, longevity, hazards and all the ways you can prepare your devices so that your batteries last longer.

Battery Making

Here you can learn not only the way how modern batteries are made in factories all around the world, but also what are the basis of the chemical process that is driving the creation of electricity.

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Brief Battery History

History of battery is rumored to have started all the way in ancient Mesopotamia and India where very specific jars with copper and zinc objects were found. It is speculated that these ancient simple battery devices were used as a tools for gold plating other metal objects, although no concrete proof of this was ever found. In any case, precursors of the invention of the modern battery were scientific findings that were oriented on electricity. This early experiments looked at everything, from electricity made by animals (electric fish for example), static electricity made by various objects, and examinations of the properties of lightning.

Two most important scientists whose findings helped Alessandro Volta were Benjamin Franklin who created array of glass jars coated in metal that could store static electricity (he called this device a “battery” of jars) and Luigi Galvani who first collected all the necessary parts for building battery but he mistaken twitching of the dead frog legs in his experiment as electricity that was created by the frog itself and not as electrochemical process that was created by his electrodes.

Volta put all those previous observations together, and created a self-sustaining battery that caused significant waves in the scientific community of the early 19th century Europe and United States. Even though his battery was difficult to build and maintain (mostly because of dangerous acids and buildup of hydrogen on metal parts of the battery), other scientists quickly jumped to the opportunity to make a battery that was easier to manage and could be used in real-life situations. First one to do so was British chemist named John Frederic Daniell who in 1836 created first commercially made and sold battery named Daniel Cell. After him many more designs were introduced, including influential discovery of German inventor Carl Gassner who made first “dry cell”, a battery that did not have any liquid electrolyte. This made batteries much safer to use, and they were finally ready to be used in portable devices without the fear of electrolyte or various toxic vapors leaking outside of the battery casing.

During 20th century battery technology matured a lot, enabling tremendous rise of the industrial manufacture of much stronger and longer lasting batteries, and proliferation of home, scientific and military gadgets that relied on battery power. Today, batteries of all shapes, sizes and power ranges can be found everywhere around us, helping us in countless tasks and making our lives easier.

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