The voltaic pile sent to Michael Faraday, 1800.
© Royal Institution / Science & Society Picture Library
Copy of the voltaic pile sent to Michael Faraday (1791-1867) at the Royal Institution, London, in 1800. Alesandro Volta (1745-1827) invented the first electric cells. Each cell comprised units of three discs - copper, zinc and paste board saturated with a salt solution. When piled up they formed the first battery.