Early electric battery, 1850

Early electric battery, 1850

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early electric battery. Historical artwork of a voltaic pile, the first modern type of electric battery, which was invented in 1800 by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827). A voltaic pile consists of alternating units (one shown at right) of plates of two different metals and a piece of wet cardboard or cloth. Here, from top to bottom, the unit is: copper plate, wet cardboard, zinc plate. A pile of these units makes up the voltaic pile in the main picture. Wires at top and bottom carry the electric current, produced by a chemical reaction, to power an electrical device. Zinc and copper are still used in batteries today. Artwork from Scientific Recreations (Tissander Gaston, 1850).

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Keywords: 1800, 1800s, 1850, 19th century, alessandro volta, artwork, battery, chemical, chemistry, coloured, copper, electrical, electricity, false-coloured, historical, history, history of science, illustration, metal, metals, physical, physics, scientific recreations, technological, technology, tissander gaston, voltaic pile, wet, zinc

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