16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Expected more about batteries in a book entitled "The Battery",
This review is from: The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution (Hardcover)
Henry Schlesinger's well-written and interesting book "The Battery: how portable power sparked a technological revolution" is in many ways more of a history of electricity and its uses than it is about batteries. Much of the text is about the uses of batteries, and the devices that required batteries, than about batteries themselves. Batteries do not make an appearance before page 38, the previous pages being devoted to the earlier history of electricity and magnetism, including the Leyden jar, a sort of capacitor which stores electricity, and also to the work William Gilbert and Benjamin Franklin. Even after batteries make an appearance, much of the text is devoted to the devices that used them, such as the telegraph, early telephones, and radios. The use of batteries for chemical research in the 1800s by Humphrey Davy is also highlighted. The author offers apparently contradictory definitions of anode and cathode- see page 77 and page 177.
The development of transistors and integrated chips reduced the power requirements for existing devices, such as radios, as well as making new devices (among the older ones, electronic watches and calculators) possible, thereby extending the uses of batteries. The last two short chapters 18, and 19, as well as the epilogue, do focus more specifically on battery and capacitor development since roughly the 1980s.