Talk:History of electrochemistry

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Consider this paragraph:

"By 1866, Georges Leclanche, a French engineer, patented a new system, which was immediately nonsuccessful. In the space of two years, twenty thousand of his cells were being used in the telegraph system. Leclanche's original cell was assembled in a porous pot. The positive electrode consisted of crushed manganese dioxide with a little carbon mixed in. The negative pole was a zinc rod. The cathode was packed into the pot, and a carbon rod was inserted to act as a currency collector. The anode or zinc rod and the pot were then immersed in an ammonium chloride solution. The liquid acted as the electrolyte, readily seeping through the porous cup and making contact with the cathode material. Leclanche's "wet"cell (as it was popularly referred to) became the forerunner to the world's first widely used battery, the zinc carbon cell."

I have found this exact paragraph copied word for word on numerous websites whilst researching the history of batteries. It really sucks that plagiarism is so common on the Internet, and I'd wager this one on Wikipedia isn't the original. Can't we at least take the every to rephrase material, instead of a lazy cut & paste? Corroborating multiple texts on the same topic also helps weed out inaccuracies and improves clarity.Kurzon 22:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that lots of sites like and jeeves and all those pretty much copy from Wikipedia (and sometimes are good enough to mention that on the bottom of their page)... so before rewording here, we should see who the source is first, us or them. Funny thing, true story: as a kid I wrote a report on Walt Disney for school and only had two sources, one World Book, and carefully reworded everything to avoid plagarism. Another kid from another class took my paper, and tried to do the same thing, rewrite my paper so he didn't look like he plagarised me. His rewrites looked so similar to the World Book Encyclopedia that he failed that assignment. So I worry if I don't know how carefully the rewording was done originally on the wiki article... Gaviidae 18:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)


I'd like to improve this article in the next while, and I have made some early attempts to do so. Future suggestions:

  1. The early part of the article is far too long. It is a (fascinating and quite good) history of electricity. Rather than delete it, I'd like to build around the skeleton that is there where possible as I think all stored electricity involves some degree of electrochemistry.
  2. Cleanup links and linking; I've started this by taking out a load of low value date links and so on; there are still a few that need to be tweaked.
  3. References. Style and substance.

--Guinnog 04:31, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Since the first paragraph says that the term originally referred to magnetism, then charges and conductivity, I don't see how one could seperate electricity's history from electrochemistry, which currently of course is a much different animal. Is there a History of Electricity page that most of this could go to, and have this article refer to it with links until the differentation from electricity itself is clearer? Any chemical history needing to be added? With the exception of capacitor/Leyden jar and battery mentions, as they're too chemistry to leave out. But for instance, the first AC generator... while using electromagnetic principles, it can safely leave this page (and they didn't mention of Tesla??? How did he get left out? Gods!) I'll go through and Britishize it, but do you think we should try to get out of the "In such-year, so-and-so did this. (New Para) In such-later-year, so-and-so did that."? It looks like a list, but then this IS a History Of... and it is a list. Gaviidae 10:44, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, there are some discrepancies? First, Ben Franklin is arguing for "one fluid" but the next paragraph has him converting the French over to "two fluid" theory?? Volta is mentioned as arguing with someone but his battery is not mentioned (though it's referenced later in the article). I'm living in another country with a strange language, and I'd rather any new sources are books and not Google (ran into issues with Sam Soemmering there) and my books are all in the US (the libraries here are of course not in English) :( so I can't really add new references. I removed some more links to common English words (coil, hemp, wire). What think? What should we specifically do with the electricity histories? Gaviidae 13:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)