D.E.V.I.C.E. is an encyclopedia of terms used by manufacturers of test and measurement equipment. T&M Atlantic created this service to better explain the functionality of instruments it offers, and to highlight the latest developments in the world of measurement equipment. We are using such tools as animation to bring words and pictures to life and to create not just an understanding but also an appreciation for technology that goes into the design of every instrument.
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On January 12, 1938, Wilhelm König, an Austrian archaeologist, found an unusual object while excavating near Baghdad. It was a light clay vessel about 15 cm high. The vessel had a copper cylinder inside containing a fully oxidized iron rod fixed with a bitumen plug. The upper end of the rod rising 1 cm above the plug was covered with a greyish completely oxidized layer of metal which reminded lead.
It was suggested that this was an ancient battery (later called Baghdad battery or the Seleucian vase) that had been used 2000 years before Volta’s invention.
Although, according to skeptics, this find could not be a battery but just a vessel to store sacred scrolls.