New form of Prism Battery

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Electrical Review

New York, NY, United States
vol. 4, no. 10, p. 3, col. 2-4

A New Form of Prism Battery.

The introduction of the telephone brought a demand for an efficient working battery for open circuit work. To a very great extent the demand in question was met at once by a form of battery designed and patented by the Leclanche Battery Company of New York. Almost all telephone companies are familiar with the style first, made, many thousands of which are doing good service to-day. The management of the Leclanche Company have recently made some improvements, and are now introducing a new form of jar and cover for the well-known prism battery, an illustration of which we give herewith. The cover rests upon a shoulder inside of the jar, which is oval in shape, the rim of the jar above the cover being concave in shape. The cover, when in place, closes the jar sufficiently tight for ordinary purposes; but, if desired, it may be hermetically sealed by pouring on the cover melted wax, which will spread over the cover, run into the concavity of the rim, and be held firmly in place, thereby effectually sealing the jar. Any kind of wax may be used for the purpose, but paraffine is preferable on account of the ease with which it can be removed. The cell can be unsealed with an ordinary pocket knife whenever necessary to renew or clean it. The latter process, however, will scarcely be necessary, as the paraffine prevents the salts from climbing up and fouling the cover. A cell thus sealed can be transported on boats, cars, and other vehicles without danger of slopping over the liquid. The adoption of the new jar and cover is a manifest improvement, and will undoubtedly add to the reputation of this famous battery. The jar and cover have both been patented.




Our readers in the telephone field are for the most part familiar with the Leclanche prism battery, yet a short description of the principal features of it will be of interest to many. The prism battery possesses the unquestionable advantage of dispensing with attention during long periods of service, provided that it be used only for those purposes for which it is suited and for which it was intended. It is an open circuit battery, and is not intended for closed circuit work. By open circuit work is meant that requiring the closing of the circuit temporarily and for short periods only, such as service on telephones, call bells, annunciators, burglar alarms, etc, etc. No internal action takes place in the Leclanche battery unless the circuit is closed, so that when not actually at work there is no consumption of materials, and the battery will last indefinitely. In the legitimate use of the battery, the length of the periods during which the circuit may remain closed, without injury, varies with the amount of resistance in the circuit. The less the resistance, the greater will be the tax on the battery, and the shorter the time required to exhaust the elements; the greater the resistance, the less will be the tax on the battery, and the longer will be its term of service. With a high resistance it may be used for purposes requiring the closing of the circuit for a half hour or more at a time. By closed circuit work is meant that in which the battery is kept continuously in action It is not intended for such work. The idea that whenever the battery fails to work properly sal ammoniac should be added, is an erroneous one. A saturated solution (that is, just as much as the water will take up and dissolve and no more) is the proper quantity to be used; any amount over that will not increase the efficiency of the battery, but-will rather be detrimental.




This company also manufacture the well-known disque cell, so long used by the telephone people. The above cuts represent the Leclanche disque cell, which, until the introduction of the Leclanche prism cell, was one of the best open circuit batteries made, and the one moat generally in use both in this country and in Europe. It is still used to some extent, and, as made by the Leclanche Battery Company of the best materials and with care and skill, is an efficient and useful battery.

No internal action takes place in the Leclanche batteries unless the circuit is closed, so that when not actually at work there is no consumption of materials.

The success of the immense business built up by this company is entirely due to the able management of Messrs. Hilborne and Cornelius Roosevelt and Mr. Horatio J. Brewer. The improvements in their batteries have kept pace with the improvements in other apparatus used in the telephone field.


Keywords:Battery Jar
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:April 27, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;