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Description: Musée d'histoire des sciences (MHS) - Genève, Suisse
THE FIRST ELECTRIC BATTERY
Copper, zinc, felt, glass, wood, Volta, Pavie, 1801
In 1800, Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) invented the electrical pile (battery) which was the first to be able to supply current continuously. The battery was a pile of alternate copper and zinc discs each separated by cardboard soaked in salt water. When a conducting wire linked the upper zinc disc with the copper disc, electrical current began to circulate in the wire.
Before travelling to Paris to present his invention to Napoleon, Alessandro Volta visited geneva in September 1801. He gave an example of his battery to the Saussure family in honour of Horace-Benedict who had died the year before. Saussure and Volta had known each other since 1777 and had exchanged a rich correspondence, notably about their respective electrometers.
The advent of the battery revolutionised the history of electricity. Domestication of electrcity opened the way to new areas of research, the applications of which are at the origins of our modern way of life.
photo - personal archive
source of information - MHS