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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I believe it was an Ancient Greek who originally came up with the first working chemical battery (zinc plates, seawater and copper, if my physics is correct). ISTR it was in the Roman era, and he may have been in either Greece or Egypt.

    Nothing became of it because the Romans used it in toys, and they couldn't imagine any other uses for electric charges. Perhaps they hadn't seen enough of the fundemental work on electricity at that point in history...

    • I do also wonder if in 200 years or more they'll be crediting the works of Tesla, and wondering why the hell we had ignored his work...
    • The earliest known battery has turned up in Iraq, actually, the so-called Baghdad battery. [smith.edu]

      If the history of technology is of interest, I recommend Ancient Inventions [amazon.com]. Fascinating stuff about the Antikythera mechanism [giant.net.au], and other, well, ancient inventions. The claim that the ancients used electricity as toys is wrong, incidentally: for example electroplating was a known technology, also the use of lightning rods is ancient knowledge.

      The attitude of "eraism" is quite prevalent, meaning that "the ancients