In most of Galvini's experiments the frog;s lkeg was mounted on a brass hook and a muscle spasm was caused when a different metal wwas used to complete an elecric arc to the brass hook. This was generally a scalpel, or when testing atmospheric electricity the frog legs were hung against a metal railing during a thunderstorm.
The "metallic electricity" did not explain why the frog leg would occassionally jump without two types of metal on a clear day. But as there was no scientific explanation for this, Volta concentrated on the two metal theory. In 1800, he anounced a new electrical device, the Voltaic Pile. This device was made of alternating disks of zinc and copper with each pair separated by brine soaked cloth. Attaching a wire to either end produces a continuous current of low intensity.
This was the first direct current battery. This put an end (for a time) to Galvani's theory of animal electricity. It is interesting to note that Volta described his battery as an electric organ and likened it to the electric organ of the torpedo fish, which had columnar stacks of cells.
Fun Word Fact: A volt is one unit of electric motive force. When you measure the strenght of a battery you measure the voltage. The word battery originally refered to a collection of Leyden jars hooked together.
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