Early electroplating

Early electroplating

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Credit: CCI ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early electroplating. Historical artwork of the use of an electrical battery (centre left) during early industrial electroplating. Metal objects (coins or jewellery) are being plated with a metal (square sheets; often gold, silver or zinc). Both are suspended in a solution of a metal salt, with each being connected to a terminal of the battery. The flow of electricity through the system causes metal from the sheets to be deposited on the objects. Electroplating was discovered in 1805, but industrial processes were not patented until 1840 by the Elkington brothers in England. This French artwork is part of an early 20th century series on the history of electricity.

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