Raimond Louis Gaston Plante, French physicist and inventor, c 1880-1889.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Raimond Louis Gaston Plante (1834-1889) invented a secondary electric cell, from which developed the lead-acid storage battery. Whilst working as a chemist at the Parisian electroplating firm of Christofle et Cie, Plante investigated the polarization in electrical cells, leading in 1859 to the discovery of the lead-acid accumulator. This became important for electricity supply, electric traction and automobile use. He spent the remainder of his life studying atmospheric electricity.