Connect with us

Contact us today

Georges Leclanché (1839-1882)

Georges Leclanché (1839-1882) George Leclanché was born in Parmain (France) in 1839. He was the son of Léopold Leclanché and Eugenie of Villeneuve. Leclanché was educated in England. He returned to France to continue his study in the Central School of Arts and Manufactures. After completing a technical education in 1860, Leclanché began work as an engineer. Six years later he developed his battery, which contained a conducting solution (electrolyte) of ammonium chloride, a negative terminal of zinc, and a positive terminal of manganese di. In 1866, Georges Leclanche patented a new system, which was immediately successful.

Leclanche's original cell was assembled in a porous pot. The positive electrode consisted of crushed manganese dioxide with a little carbon mixed in.

The negative pole was a zinc rod. The cathode was packed into the pot, and a carbon rod was inserted to act as a currency collector. The anode or zinc rod and the pot were then immersed in an ammonium chloride solution. The liquid acted as the electrolyte, readily seeping through the porous cup and making contact with the cathode material. Leclanche's "wet"cell (as it was popularly referred to) became the forerunner to the world's first widely used battery, the zinc carbon cell.

Leclanche's invention, which was quite heavy and prone to breakage, was steadily improved over the years. The idea of encapsulating both the negative electrode and porous pot into a zinc cup was first patented by J.A. Thiebaut in 1881. But, it was Carl Gassner of Mainz who is credited as constructing the first commercially successful "dry" cell. Variations followed. By 1889 there were at least six well-known dry batteries in circulation. Later battery manufacturing produced smaller, lighter batteries, and the application of the tungsten filament in 1909 created the impetus to develop batteries for use in torches. (reference)