Battery Education Menu
The “Baghdad Battery” – ceramic pot battery and the world’s oldest “ceramic pot battery” was discovered in the remains of Khu jut Rabu, a village in the outskirts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. This battery is more than 2,000 years old.
It was thought that it was used for metallic plating, rather than as a battery to generate electricity.
The voltage would have been about 1.5-2 volts. It is not known exactly what the electrolyte solution would have been, but we can imagine that they might have used vinegar or wine.
In 1780, an Italian biologist called Luigi Galvani discovered that when two different types of metal came into contact with a dead frog’s leg, an electrical current ran between them and caused the leg to twitch. This is said to mark the first discovery of the principle behind batteries.
When copper and zinc are placed into an electrolyte solution like dilute sulfuric acid or saline solution, the copper atoms barely break down at all, but the zinc atoms break down and electrons flow out.
So the copper becomes a positive (+) pole and the zinc a negative (-) pole, and when the two are joined by a conductor, electricity flows from the copper to the zinc. This is the Volta battery, which forms the basis for modern chemical batteries. It was discovered by another Italian named Alessandro Volta, whom the battery was named after, in 1800.
Then, in 1868, a Frenchman called Georges Leclanché invented the “Leclanché cell.” This was the origin of today’s dry batteries, but it could be inconvenient to use as its ammonium chloride solution would spill over.
In 1888, a German called Carl Gassner invented a battery where there was no risk of the solution spilling. Because the battery would not spill even though it contained a liquid, Gassner’s invention became known as the “dry cell” or “dry battery.”
In 1899, Swedish engineer Waldemar Jungner invented nickel-cadmium battery. This was a epoch-making battery as the origin of today’s storage battery.
In 1900, the great inventor Thomas Edison who was also known to commercialize filament lamps invented nickel-iron storage battery. It is called Edison battery.