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Pan-American Exposition of 1901

"The Edison Storage Battery at Buffalo"

[Source: Western Electrician, v. 29, no. 6 (Aug. 10, 1901) p. 83. text and image reproduced here in full.]

"In the accompanying illustration is shown the new storage battery recently invented and patented by Thomas A. Edison and now on exhibition in the Electricity building at the Pan-American Exposition. This battery, as has been described in recent issues of the Western Electrician, is made of iron and nickel and has an alkaline electrolyte. The cell on exhibition has a capacity of 100 watt-hours. It weighs 5 ¾ pounds and consists of eight plates. In front of the exhibition cell are shown two sample grids, one empty and one filled with the briquets of active material."

The Edision Storage Battery at Buffalo

The Edision Storage Battery at Buffalo

"Edison Storage Battery Not in Competition at Buffalo"

[Source: Western Electrician, v. 29, no. 5 (Aug. 3, 1901) p. 71.]

"The Edison storage battery has been withdrawn from competition with other batteries at the Pan-American Exposition. This is understood to be because Mr. Edison is not yet quite prepared to give to the world and the jury of awards all of what are now secrets of the laboratory in connection with the battery.

The battery exhibited is of one-eighth horsepower, 100 ampere-hours and weighs 5 ¾ pounds. The width of the cell is five inches, depth, 1 ½ inches, and the height 12 inches from base to terminals. The charging rate is 1.8 volts. The cell is of steel, nickel-plated. The insulation is perforated hard rubber, 0.64 inch thick, and the plate complete is 0.1 of an inch thick. The battery has eight plates or grids, each containing 24 pockets. The pockets containing the compound are 0.003 of an inch deep and of crucible steel, perforated, and nickel-plated. The negative plate is of nickel and the positive of iron. The battery on exhibition has no alkaline solution. The fluid is not an element of the battery, it being used simply as a conductor. In the regular construction of the batteries, 60 plates will constitute one horse-power, each plate weighing one pound.

W. H. Markgraf, manager of the exhibit department of the Edison Manufacturing company at the Pan-American Exposition, has this to say of the battery exhibit: 'In forwarding the parts of the battery now on exhibition at Buffalo, it was not Mr. Edison's intention that the same should be entered competitively against the other type of storage batteries, inasmuch as we are not in position at this time to show it working practically. We hope to be able to send up some of these batteries complete, so as to put them in practical operation, and to show their superiority over anything of the kind now on the market. It is still the company's intention to make such an exhibit at the Pan-American before the closing of the exposition.'

Hundreds of people stop at the Edison booth each day to look at this latest invention in the storage-battery line. The battery is given a prominent position on a table, and is protected by a glass case. Manager Markgraf and his assistants are ever ready to explain all its features, and it is evident that the people turn from the Edison booth amazed at the possibilities in store for this new battery. The Edison space is one of the best located in the Electricity building, and frequently its three open sides are surrounded by visitors listening to the music of the phonographs while inspecting other features of the magnificent exhibit.

Thomas A. Edison is sojourning at Chautauqua, but from time to time will run up to the exposition to enjoy its beauties."