History on this day – May 8th, 1886
On May 8th in 1886 something really cool and awesome innovation happened in the historical pages of Technology. A German scientist named Dr. Carl Gassner globally issued a German patent for the world’s first “dry” cell battery, where zinc was used as its primary component. Later a U.S. patent was issued to Gassner in the year 1887. His battery is much like present carbon-zinc, “general purpose” batteries, although most people use alkalines.
Let’s know more about it.
In the year 1866, the wet cell after being patented by Georges Leclanche was a huge success which was widely used in most of the telegraph systems (one among the few electronic based technologies available in those days) that resulted in consumption of nearly twenty thousand of cells in less than two years of span. This cell was initially arranged in a porous pot with a mixture of powdered manganese dioxide and carbon in less composition leading to positive terminal and a zinc rod was used as a negative polar.
Here a solution of ammonium chloride was used as a electrolyte which resulted in speeding the conduction process of electrons. This invention was named as Leclanche “wet”cell. The world’s first ever used battery in high production scale.
The wet cell was highly adapted to its breakage but improved its stability over the decades. This idea of embedding a negative electrode with porous pot containing zinc rod was actually patented by J.A. Thiebaut in the year 1881 but the first ever dry cell to be successful in the market was created by Dr.Carl Gassner
In 1887 this dry cell was patented by Carl Gassner with zinc as the charge storage and other conductors for negative polarity. The cell was a completely sealed package containing porous materials inside it. This was a foot step for many industries for manufacturing dry batteries.
The growth in the batteries manufacturing further continued through decades with Carl Gassner battery as first prototype in its field.