Battery, known as Smee battery

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made in England

Postcard of Battery, known as Smee battery.
© National Museums Scotland

Battery, known as Smee battery

This battery, known as a 'Smee battery' was made in England in the 19th century.

The battery consists of six cells, in which the positive plates are made of zinc and the negative plates of silver. The liquid - no longer present - was dilute sulphuric acid.

Current electricity is produced when two metals are combined with moisture. Many attempts were made during the 19th century to produce an electric battery that was compact, durable and safe.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-004-725-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1859.345
Date: 19th century
Material: Zinc and silver plates
What: Battery, galvanic
Subject: 8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Galvanic (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
Who: Smees (Eponym)
Where: England
Description: Galvanic battery based on Smees principle, with six cells, with zinc positive plates and silver negative plates, unsigned, English, 19th century
  • For an overview of current electricity, see G.L'E. Turner, Nineteenth Century Scientific Instruments. London, 1983, esp. ch. 11, 'Electricity', pp 198-202.. 
  • Ganot's Physics, London 1872, pp 641-2. 
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