Battery History

  • Intro

    It’s hard to believe there was a time before batteries! Read about the history of batteries and learn how they came to be the portable powerhouses they are today.

    Most historians date the start of battery development from the late 18th century. However, some archeological finds may push the date of origin back as far as 2,000 years ago. In 1938, Wilhelm Konig made a discovery in Iraq of a 5-inch pottery jar containing a copper cylinder that encased an iron rod. Konig decided that this was an ancient battery.

    The history of batteries and development of devices go hand in hand. When Eveready invented the first miniature batteries in the late 1950’s, most of the world stopped winding watches. Alkaline batteries provided enough power to make way for portable radios, boom boxes and toys that beep and blink. With the introduction of lithium batteries, it opened up a whole new world of long-lasting power for high-tech devices from digital cameras to MP3 players and handheld computers.

  • 1700

    1798 – Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta built his first “voltaic pile.” The crude battery consisted of a stack of paired copper zinc disks separated from one another by cardboard disks moistened with salt or acid solution.

  • 1800

    1836 – John F. Daniell, and English chemist, improved the efficiency of Volta’s design by developing a way to avoid the corrosion problems of Volta’s batteries.

    1868 – French chemist Georges Leclanche designed a “wet” cell, the forerunner of the “dry” cell, or flashlight battery.

    1888 – German scientist Dr. Carl Gassner invented the “dry” cell, a cell much like today’s carbon-zinc batteries.

    1896 – Columbia, a dry cell battery manufactured by National Carbon Company, became the first commercially available battery sold in the U.S. The National Carbon Company later became Eveready Battery Company – known today as Energizer®.

  • 1898

    1898 – Conrad Hubert, known as the founder of the Eveready Battery Company, invented the electric hand torch, or flashlight – a dry cell battery, bulb and rough brass reflector inside a paper tube.

    - Eveready® introduced the D size battery for the first handheld flashlight.

  • 1900

    1955 – Eveready® introduced the first miniature batteries for hearing aids.

    1956 – Eveready® produced the first 9-volt battery, commonly used in smoke detectors today.

    1957 - Eveready® introduced the first commercial watch battery.

    1958 - Eveready® introduced the Eveready® Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable battery system.

    1959 - Eveready® developed the first commercially viable cylindrical alkaline batteries, revolutionizing portable power. You can see the first prototype alkaline cell, hand built by Energizer scientist, the late Lew Urry, at the Smithsonian National Museum of History.

  • 1960 - 1989

    1960 - Eveready® produced the first silver oxide system miniature batteries for use in hearing aids and watches.

    1989 – Energizer led the industry in environmental initiatives to eliminate added mercury in batteries.

    - Energizer introduced the first commercially available AAAA alkaline battery.

  • 1990 - 1999

    1991 – World’s first zero mercury hearing aid battery commercially available.

    1992 - Energizer introduced the world’s first AA lithium battery. Energizer® e2® Lithium is the world’s longest lasting AA battery in high-tech devices.

    1995 - Energizer introduced the first on-battery tester.

    1997 - Energizer introduced high-energy NiMH rechargeable batteries.

  • 2000

    2000 – Energizer debuted Energizer® e2® Titanium Technology® featuring enhanced cell design and titanium technology to deliver exceptional power and dependability.

    2001 - Energizer introduced Energizer® EZ Change®, a new dispenser for hearing aid batteries.

    2003 - Energizer introduced the first AAA lithium battery - Energizer® e2® Lithium.

    2010 - Energizer re-launches innovative packaging across all household battery and flashlight products, in addition all offline and online Energizer Marketing and Communication collateral are updated to reflect the new brand strategy and design.

    - Energizer introduces many new and improved battery and lighting products including the Energizer® Inductive Charger and Qi.