A few weeks back, I was in dire need of a battery and searched my whole house twice to find one, but couldn’t. Eventually bought one the next day. Co-incidentally, on the same day, found this book in our college library when browsing the shelves. On any other day, I would have overlooked this book. On that particular day, it caught my attention and I started reading it. And I was very glad that I did.
I was highly skeptical about the book (I endured an Electrochemistry course during my Master’s) but the author did a good job of making it interesting enough to keep the reader engaged. I wish I had read it before the electrochemistry episode, but better late than never. Even though the book is about batteries, there are significant detours about the ‘new’ technologies that used batteries and stories behind their emergence (telegraphs, transatlantic telegraphic line, radio, watches, transistors…).
By the end of the book, I’m a little wiser about batteries and their evolution than I was before. Next time I hold a battery in my hand, I would definitely take a moment to awe at the efforts that were put in achieve the current compact form from its initial design of Layden jar which harnessed static electricity, through the voltaic pile, a stack of electrodes and the galvanic cells with sloshing electrolytes to the modern dry cells packing in more power to meet the increasing energy demands of the technology-rich and energy-hungry generation. Although the battery development had plateaued over the last two decades, considering the current energy scenario, I guess there will be another surge (scientific community predict otherwise.)
I would recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in knowing the historical background of everyday things.