Alessandro Volta developed the Voltaic pile in 1800, which became and remains to be part of today’s modern batteries. The battery industry generates more than $48 billions in annual sales.
Though it remains unproven, there is great speculation that galvanic cell batteries were used between 250 B.C.E. and 640 C.E. In Egyptian archeological digs too were found many battery-like devices. But since there was no evidence such as wires, diagrams or writings detailing how these devices would be used, it is difficult to substantiate the claims that these ancient objects were indeed batteries.
Employing the term ‘battery’ to describe any charge or storage device, as he became more engaged in his own electrical researches in 1748. Until that time the term ‘battery’ was used more in association with collections of active military units or weapons, such as a ‘battery’ of cannons.
A galvanic cell produces lower voltage than the earlier electrostatic generators, but the miraculous thing is that the electricity is produced merely by combining two different metals and a substance through which the metals connect.
During this era, the scientific community referred to the electric battery as a ‘pile’ or an ‘accumulator’, as well as an ‘artificial electrical organ’. All batteries use a direct current system where electrons flow in only one direction.
As times have advanced, we’ve seen batteries that last longer, have more voltage and even the advent of consumer rechargeable batteries for everything from watches to digital cameras. For more information on the various types and advances in battery technology, check out the ‘battery’ entry at Wikipedia.org.