Lewis Urry, 77, Developed The Alkaline Battery

By Staff On Nov 6 2006 - 8:00am




"Father" of the alkaline battery, Lewis Urry, 77, died earlier this month, following a short illness.

Urry, who retired last spring from batter maker Energizer, successor-company to Union Carbide's National Carbon, developed the first practical long-life battery in the 1950s when he came up with a long-lasting alkaline battery using powdered zinc as the electrolyte. This cell replaced carbon zinc batteries, which had a shorter power life. National Carbon was known for its Eveready-brand batteries.

It is estimated 80 percent of the dry-cell batteries in the world today are based on Urry's work. He held 50 patents, accumulated during his half-century's work in battery technology development.

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