Thomas Edison-An Early nickel-iron Battery was invented by no other than Thomas Edison

Early nickel-iron Batteries from Thomas Edison

It was only recently when I was doing an article about something else that I came across an interesting fact about the American inventor, no other than Thomas Edison. Why I should

have been surprised I do not know, because he invented some mind bending things that we still use today, such as Thomas Edison Invention Light Bulb and the communications breakthrough of the first ever

batteries,thomas edison

Thomas Edison experimenting as usual

phonograph(a type of early record player).

Thomas Edison was working on improvements to another invention of his the telegraph transmitter and he noticed that the tape of the telegraph machine could give him human type voices when he ran it at a fast speed. This set his highly intelligent mind at play which resulted in the genius trying a stylus onto a tin foil cylinder and it played back the tune “Mary had a little lamb”. This discovery was to end up as the first machine to record sound and play it back, in other  words the World’s first type of record player, Batteries UK (although he used cylinders not discs). This made him famous all over the World and the devise was known as the “Phonograph”.

The part of Thomas Edison Timeline that interests me though is the new type of storage battery that he invented. His invention could have been started off when he noticed that it was a struggle to start the engines in the cars of that period only using a cranking handle. I can remember when I was an apprentice mechanic in the late sixties; when a 12 Volt Battery went flat for some reason we had to use a cranking handle to try start the engine and it was very hard indeed.

More reading… 

New life for the nickel-iron batteries ;from Stanford University.

Thomas Edison came up with a new type of battery known as the nickel-iron battery and car ownership was open to everyone who could afford a car and not just the strong people who could crank an engine to start by using only muscle power. To bring you to my main point the old Edison invention may now be brought up to date by staff at Stanford University.

The nickel-iron batteries that are used today will be used mainly for storing the Suns energy from the use of wind turbines and solar panels. These modern type batteries have a much greater charging speed, but the scientists and students still, need to work on improvements to time that the batteries can actually store the electricity that is produced. In fact the batteries can be fully charged up in only a couple of minutes and it only takes ½ a minute to discharge its load.


There is still a great deal of work to be done, but this updated type of battery will be expected to be competition to the Lithium-Ion batteries presently used on electric car production. The new version of the nickel-iron batteries could even be used to accelerate the charge rate to the lithium-ion battery giving it a power boost to generate faster acceleration and regenerative braking.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and MotorCodes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.