Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Batteries Not Included

You know all those toys we got for Christmas or birthdays or whatnot that needed batteries to operate? Well little did we know that just prior to 1955 any toy which was battery operated was about as much fun as getting socks as your present. Seems the batteries we came to know and use until this day were not yet around. They had batteries but they only lasted a few minutes. Put them in "go-car" and watch the car move, if it moved at all, about an inch before the battery went out.
Sad to say that the man who invented todays alkaline battery, LEWIS URRY, born in Pontypool, Ontario died this past week. URRY came to America when he was transferred from The National Canadian Carbon CO. to Union Carbide in Cleveland, who made EVEREADY batteries. LEWIS URRY was the guy who, somehow, figured powdered zinc added to the carbide in batteries would make it work better. We have them in our laptops, CD players, toys, Walkman radios, cell phones, cam corders, electric razors well you know, Everything battery operated!His son, Michael Urry, said his father "was happy to see that peoplewere able to take something he came up with and enjoyed their lives better."
Eveready is known now as Energiser. URRY finessed the chemical make up of the alkaline battery so that, today, it works 40% longer than the 1959 version. URRY also aided in developement of the lithium battery too.
Just a note for a truly unsung hero.


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