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Lewis Urry - Famous Inventor

: Lewis Urry
: 29-January-1927
: 19-October-2004
: Canada
: University of Toronto
: Engineer,Inventor

About Inventor

Lewis Frederick Urry Lived between(1927 – 2004) was a Canadian chemical engineer and inventor. He invented both the alkaline battery and lithium battery while working for the Eveready Battery company.He died when he was 77.

Lew Urry developed the small alkaline battery in 1949. The inventor was working for the Eveready Battery Co. at their research laboratory in Parma, Ohio. Alkaline batteries last five to eight times as long as zinc-carbon cells, their predecessors.

Urry's works

In order to discover a way of extending the life span of the zinc-carbon battery,In 1955 Urry was dispatched to the company's laboratory in Parma,

Ohio . The low longevity of these batteries had been seriously damaging sales. Urry realized that developing a new battery would be more cost-effective than developing the old ones further.

Throughout the 1950s many engineers had experimented with alkaline batteries but nobody had been able to develop a longer running battery which was worth the higher cost of production. Urry, after testing a number of materials, discovered that manganese dioxide and solid zinc worked well coupled with an alkaline substance as an electrolyte. His main problem was that the battery could not provide enough power. Urry managed to overcome this problem by using powdered zinc.

On October 9, 1957, Lewis Urry, Karl Kordesch, and P.A. Marsal filed US patent (2,960,558) for this revolutionary alkaline dry cell battery with a powdered zinc gel anode. It was granted in 1960 and assigned to Union Carbide Corporation.

In order to sell the idea to his managers, Urry put the battery in a toy car and raced it round the canteen against a similar car with one of the older batteries. His new invention had many times the durability, and Eveready began production of Urry's design in 1959.

In 1980 the brand was renamed Energizer. Modern alkaline batteries, due to technological improvements, can last as much as 40 times longer than the original prototype.

In 1999 Urry gave his first prototype battery, along with the first commercially produced cylindrical battery, to the Smithsonian Institution. Both cells are now displayed in the same room as Edison's lightbulb.


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