(September 9, 1737 – December 4, 1798)

Electric battery ranks among the most important inventions of the 18th century; and indeed, of all times. Although Luigi Galvani did not invent it, he influenced its development more than any other individual: albeit inadvertently. It was him who first noticed that electricity was generated when different metals were connected to the muscles of a dead frog. Despite misinterpreting it, by insinuating that the animal produced the current, his findings enable Alessandro Volta to right the wrong: and by so doing, conceived the idea of batteries. Galvani’s error did not prevent him from being the eponym of current-detecting instrument: the galvanometer. It is a well-deserved honor, because the idea of a galvanometer emanated from the frog galvanoscope (which he invented: following his many experiments with dead frog tissues). Luigi Galvani also merited the eponyms of both galvanization and the lunar crater, Galvani. His influence in the development of battery was tremendous, (despite his role being as unintended as his inference was inaccurate). The prominence it brought him was such that it overshadowed all his exploits in both surgery and anatomy. Although he distinguished himself as a surgeon as well as an anatomy professor, Galvani never abandoned “animal electricity” experiments. He kept researching on its aspects for the rest of his life. Among his most notable publications are: De Viribus Electricitatis in Motu Musulari Commentraius, Opere Edite ed Inedite, Memorie ed Esperimenti Inediti, and Taccuino. Apart from Alessandro Volta, Luigi Galvani deserves greater credit for battery than anyone else.

6 Comments

  1. Poor Galvani was overshadowed by Volta. I’m glad to see him here. He deserves more credits than some people are willing to give him.

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