A simple history of batteries With so much power crammed into such a small body, batteries are truly a result of human knowledge. Here, you can quickly breeze through the history of this technology. A simple history of batteries With so much power crammed into such a small body, batteries are truly a result of human knowledge. Here, you can quickly breeze through the history of this technology.
Lecture.01

Discovering the principle Discovering the principle

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.

The “Baghdad Battery” – ceramic pot battery and the world’s oldest
A “ceramic pot battery” was discovered in the remains of Khujut 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.

Lecture.02

Volta discovers the battery Volta discovers the battery

When copper and zine 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 zine 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.

Lecture.03

Leclanché cells and dry batteries Leclanché cells and dry batteries

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”.

History of batteries

Year

Chemical technology history/Japanese history

1760-

Industrial revolution begins in UK

1765

Watt (UK) invents the steam engine

Galvani (Italy) discovers the principle behind batteries

1780

Volta (Italy) invents the battery

1800

1825

Stephenson’s steam locomotive makes first journey

Gaston Planté (France)
invents lead acid storage battery

1859

Leclanché (France)
invents original version of today’s dry batteries

1868

Meiji Restoration

1872

Railway opened between Shimbashi and Yokohama

Sakizo Yai invents dry battery

1885

Gassner (Germany),
Hellesens (Denmark) invent dry battery

1888

Jungner (Sweden)
invents nickel-cadmium storage battery

1899

Edison (USA)
invents nickel-iron storage battery

1900

1903

Wright brothers (USA) make
first successful aircraft flight

1925

Radio broadcasting launched in Japan

1941

Japan enters Second World War

1945

End of Second World War

1953

NHK launches regular television broadcasts

Mercury battery production launched in Japan

1955

First transistor radio sold in Japan

1957

USSR successfully launches satellite

Around 1958

First home appliances boom

Alkaline battery production launched in Japan
Ni-Cd battery production launched in Japan
High-performance dry battery production launched in Japan

1964

Tokyo Olympics held

Compact sealed lead acid storage batteries developed

1967

Ultra high-performance dry battery production launched in Japan

1969

USA puts a man on the moon

1970

Expo held in Osaka, Japan

Lithium primary battery
Graphite fluoride BR line developed

1971

Silver oxide battery/lithium primary battery
production launched in Japan

1976

Alkaline button battery production launched in Japan

1977

Zinc-air battery production launched in Japan

1985

Tsukuba science technology Expo held

Battery association launches “Battery Day”

1986

1988

Great Seto Bridge, Seikan Tunnel opened

Nickel-metal hydride battery developed

1989

Mercury-free manganese dry batteries achieved
Recycling mark displayed on Ni-Cd batteries

1991

Law for the Promotion of Utilization of Recycled
Resources announced

Mercury-free alkaline dry batteries achieved
Lithium-ion batteries developed

1992

Recommended use-by dates displayed

1993

Japanese manufacturers cease production of
mercury batteries

1995

Recycling launched for small secondary batteries
“Battery Month” launched at Battery Association of Japan
(November 11 to December 12)

1997