Volta's crown of cups, early 19th century; Crown-of-cups battery, early 1800s

Group shot (clockwise from bottom right), 1927-1255 Volta's crown of cups Volta's crown of cups Group shot (clockwise from bottom right), 1927-1255

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

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Group shot (clockwise from bottom right), 1927-1255
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Volta's crown of cups
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Volta's crown of cups
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Group shot (clockwise from bottom right), 1927-1255
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Volta's crown of cups. Devised in 1800 by Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electric battery, this instrument consists of nine glasses which can be arranged in a horseshoe shape on a black-painted tinplate tray. Forked conductors, with one side zinc and the other copper, fit between each pair of glasses but do not touch inside the glasses. Single strips of zinc and copper are placed in the end glasses to form terminals. When the glasses were filled with water, or preferably brine, a potential difference was set up between the terminals.

Details

Category:
King George III
Object Number:
1927-1255
Materials:
tin plated, zinc, copper and glass
Measurements:
overall: 140 mm x x , 250 mm,
tray: 20 mm x x , 252 mm,
type:
batteries and electric batteries
credit:
King's College, London