Germans Can Be So Dry

Gassner BatteryMay 8, 1886

German scientist, Dr. Carl Gassner, is issued a German patent for the first “dry” cell battery, which uses zinc as its primary component. A U.S. patent will be issued to Gassner in 1887. Unlike previous wet cells, this dry cell is more solid, does not require maintenance, does not spill, and can be used in any orientation. Gassner’s development led to the production of the first convenient battery for widespread use and the invention of the flashlight. Gassner’s design is virtually unchanged in today’s zinc carbon “general purpose” batteries. Although most people use alkalines, in fact zinc carbon batteries will last longer in low drain devices such as remote controls and clocks.