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11 Great Moments in Battery History

February 18th, 2013 by
Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electric battery and a major reason Interstate Batteries exists today. Photo via Wikipedia.

Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electric battery and a major reason Interstate Batteries exists today. Photo via Wikipedia.

February 18 is National Battery Day, believed to be named in honor of Alessandro Volta, the Italian physicist who invented the electric battery. He was born on this day in 1745.

At Interstate Batteries® we’ve been charged with the important task of building awareness of and cranking up the excitement surrounding this day. To that end, we present the following 11 great moments in battery history. Some of them are actually true!

(Disclaimer: If you’re using this post to jump-start an academic research paper, you should probably look elsewhere. This is merely an attempt to have fun with current events. So we made a lot of this up. You can join in the fun by leaving a comment with another “great moment” in battery history. We accept most submissions, positive or negative. See what we did there?)

 1. The battery in Apollo 11.

After a big moon landing, you don’t want a dead battery for the trip back. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins returned to earth, thanks to dependable batteries that started ’em back up.

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module had to start up somehow. Photo via NASA.

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module had to start up somehow. Photo via NASA.

2. Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific.

One year, six months, and one day of travel – and they never had to change the battery.

 

3. The first electric ice cream churner.

If the battery gave out, we would never have known the heaven that is chocolate chip cookie dough.

 

4. Batteries for floodlights at the Stonehenge construction site.

Think the builders could complete this historic monument in a mere 1,500 years working only during daylight? Of course not. They spent long, long nights carrying and assembling big blocks of stone on the Salisbury plains.

5. Galileo

The battery helped Galileo identify the sun’s spots, confirm Copernican astronomy and discover Jupiter’s moons. What, do you have a better explanation?

 6. Paul Revere’s battery

Paul Revere's horse was off to a great start that fateful night. Image via Wikipedia

Paul Revere’s horse was off to a great start that fateful night. Image via Wikipedia

“The British are coming” would have been a hard message to deliver if his horse didn’t start.

 7. “One if by land, two if by sea”

Bet you didn’t know the lanterns in the Old North Church were actually powered by 6-volt lantern batteries. You can re-enact this historic night with a flashlight/lantern and battery of your own.

 8. The Battle of Agincourt

This historic battle would have ended very differently if the first battery-powered trebuchet didn’t accidently throw its battery instead of a stone.

 9. The battery aboard the Mars rover, Curiosity

The plutonium-powered Mars Curiosity rover. Image courtesy of NASA.

The plutonium-powered Mars Curiosity rover. Image courtesy of NASA.

OK, this one’s actually true. Curiosity carries a radioisotope battery system that, because it uses plutonium, sadly isn’t available at your local Interstate All Battery Center. Yet. Read more about Curiosity here.   And remember, if something goes wrong, at least it’s on Mars.

 10. The battery aboard the Spirit of St. Louis

Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic plane was a Ryan M-2. Get the specs here!

11. Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson didn’t work on this great document alone; he had to communicate with other founding fathers. Good thing he had quality batteries in his cellphone.

What other historic battery moments do you “remember?” Don’t let facts get in your way; we didn’t. Tell us your headlines in the comments.

By Youssef Sleiman (70 Posts)

Youssef Sleiman writes and reports the powerful news at Interstate Batteries.


Posted in All Battery, Automotive, Battery Industry
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Interstate Batteries® sells more than 16,000 kinds of batteries—from AA alkalines and automotive batteries to critical power solutions, and everything in between. Combine professional battery services, recycling programs and the largest battery distribution network in North America, and you’ll find Interstate has EVERY BATTERY FOR EVERY NEED®. Learn more about Interstate Batteries or shop online!

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