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Volta's pile. Volta's 'pile' or battery of 1800. This was the earliest form of battery supplying a continuous current. It was made of alternate copper and zinc discs separated by paper in salt solution or dilute acid. 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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