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#113652 - 09/09/02 07:47 PM Carbon Zinc Cell
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA

Thought I'd share this for the nostalgia area. Can anyone date it? The zinc rod is almost disintegrated. Could I replace it with a galvanized bolt? What would make a good electrolyte?

-Dave (Rabbit)

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#113653 - 09/09/02 10:20 PM Re: Carbon Zinc Cell
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia

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#113654 - 09/10/02 07:04 AM Re: Carbon Zinc Cell
Joule-E Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 23
WOW, now I know what I was looking at when I found a flexible metal rod in a junk yard. It was 3 feet long but was fairly decayed or eaten away. It was zinc colored and flexible. I had never held pure zinc so I didnt know what it was. THanks for sharing

#113655 - 09/10/02 07:43 AM Re: Carbon Zinc Cell
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Your cell is a handsome find, Dave. Thinking out loud—don't think a zinc-plated bolt would give much life, and the iron might contaminate the electrolyte, but maybe that's not the point. When you see a jar one thinks of a flooded lead/sulfuric-acid cell. That would not work here for the acid would dissolve the zinc electrode without any current flow.

The old No.6 1½-volt “dry cell” used a paste electrolyte—may have been partially zinc chloride. In those, underneath a cardboard wrapper was a cylindrical zinc cup about 2½ inches diameter and 6 inches high. There was a 6-32 knurled-brass nut attached to the zinc that was the negative electrical connection [cathode.] The positive/anode connection emerged from the cell top-center with a similar brass nut. The anode was a carbon rod about ¾-inch in diameter; maybe 5½ inches long.

Believe it or not, there is reference to No.6 cells in the 1999 NEC...725-41(a)(5). Have to see if I can find more information about just how your cell is filled/operated, Dave. For you young’uns, the modern equivalent to No.6 cells are Eveready EN-6. They are advertised at ~$11-to-19 each. n6.pdf

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 09-10-2002).]

#113656 - 09/11/02 03:30 AM Re: Carbon Zinc Cell
Trainwire Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 364
Loc: Strasburg,PA,USA
One thing you could try, is find a anode rod for a hot water heater, some of them are made of zinc. That would give you a nearly endless supply of zinc for the vintage crystal radio that you are going to use your battery with


#113657 - 09/11/02 12:59 PM Re: Carbon Zinc Cell
Rabbit Offline

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 61
Loc: Kingsport Tennessee
I have two more of these. They are missing the zinc completely and are in square jars. All in series should light a 6v bulb for a museum display. More to come.

#113658 - 09/12/02 11:40 AM Re: Carbon Zinc Cell
ThinkGood Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Thanks for sharing the photos.

Try these places for metal (I haven't used their services):

Hope that helps some...

[This message has been edited by ThinkGood (edited 09-12-2002).]


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