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Alessandro Volta's crown of cups, an early example of Volta's 'pile' or battery, the earliest form of battery supplying a continuous current. It was made up of a series of containers holding brine and electrodes consisting of plates of zinc (Z) and silver (A). A metal hoop (a) connects the cells in a series. Volta (1745-1827) was a professor of physics at the University of Pavia, Italy. He published his invention in 1800 at the same time that this drawing was communicated to the Royal Society in London.
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