1.5 Volt Dry Cell Batteries

My thanks go to my old friend Bill Pozniack who very kindly gave me a pair of 1.5V dry cell batteries to go with my field telephones. Unlike modern batteries, these have an outer casing of waxed cardboard:

This pair are obviously post war examples, however the wartime ones were identical except for the printing on the outside. This printing includes the NSN number and the date of manufacture, in this case 1984:

They were made by a firm called Parkinson of South Shields. I believe that this firm is Crompton Parkinson an electrical engineering company founded in 1878 that acquired Vidor Batteries in 1968.

The top of the batteries have a pair of brass screw terminals that allow them to be connected up to power devices:

A field telephone only needs two of these, however other devices used more power such as the daylight signalling lamp which used multiple batteries, connected in series. In this case small brass connectors were used to link each terminal, as seen on this diagram from the manual:

These dry cell batteries have long since been replaced by more modern metal cased types, such as those still used in everyday civilian life. These old cardboard covered cells, however, had a very long service life- the design lasting over fifty years from the 1930s until at least the 1980s.

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