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Battery, known as Bunsen cell

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made in England

Battery, known as Bunsen cell
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The Bunsen cell was the first battery to use a carbon electrode. It was invented in 1843 by Robert Bunsen (1811-1899). This example was made in England in the 19th century.

The battery has a positive pole made of carbon and a negative pole made of zinc. The cleft cylindrical zinc plate is immersed in dilute sulphuric acid, within which is the porous cylinder filled with strong nitric acid; and within this is a rectangular prism of very dense charcoal, or carbon, which forms the second electrode. (There are no acids in this cell now).

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.

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