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Lewis Urry, 77, Developed Alkaline Battery

Middleburg Heights, Ohio — “Father” of the alkaline battery, Lewis Urry, 77, died here last week, 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.