Who Invented the First Battery?


Count Alessandro Volta is credited with inventing the first battery in 1794. His battery, known as the voltaic pile, was made of piled-up pairs of copper and zinc disks separated by cardboard soaked in a saltwater brine.

The voltaic pile was the first battery that was capable of reliably providing a continuous electrical current for a circuit. After Volta shared his discovery with the Royal Society of London, the voltaic pile contributed to further discoveries relating to the nature of electricity, such as the electrolysis of water, electric arc effects and the study of electromotive force.

It is possible that battery technology existed thousands of years ago. Archaeologist Wilhelm K?nig uncovered a group of terra-cotta jars in a village near Baghdad. The jars each contained an iron rod surrounded by a rolled-up sheet of copper. When replicas were filled with acidic liquids, they produced as much as two volts between the iron and the copper. It has been suggested that these jars were used for electroplating.