Today in World History: March 5th

On this day in 1827, Alessandro Volta died. Born in 1745 in the Como, Duchy of Milan (now Italy), he is most famous for his invention of the Voltaic pile, or the battery.  He combined data from previous scientists’ research, such as Luigi Galvani’s work with frog legs, and transformed it, taking what he knew and what they knew, to create the first battery. Made of zinc and sulfuric acid, it transformed the study of electricity, and he was so well known for his invention in 1800 that even Napoleon Bonaparte invited him to his court. Volta disliked the spotlight however, and although he traveled to Napoleon’s court to explain to him his research and was made a count, he died in Como, his family estate, at the age of eighty-two.

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