This entire section is devoted to batteries, and the promises, mistruths, false advertising, from the manufacturers.

From the days of the first cameras that needed them and the flash and strobe units who really need them batteries are a necessary evil…  

And there are enough evil-sellers out there. We go back to the beginning, the first true portable light source now updated.

The most economical flash unit of all time was the Redneck Mark II Light Spear which required no batteries…  
It was not for use in gas-filled mines… a few tried…and m
ade good use of the phrase “ It was a killer unit”…  the first edition used Black Powder and then road flares which equally blew everything to piece in mines with gas.

Batteries Are 2000 Years Old

Electric batteries have come a long way since some unknown Parthian first stuck some iron and copper cylinders into a jar of acidic grape juice. The things that power our cameras today, 2,000 years later, work on the same basic principle, though they sure don't look like a clay jar. 

But there is some evidence to suggest that they may possibly have been the first known people to harness the power of electricity too. Central to this theory was the discovery of a ‘battery’ in 1938 by a German archaeologist called Wilhelm Konig.  The battery consists of a little pot, dated 250BC, containing a roll of thin copper surrounding a central iron rod. 

Wilhelm Koenig surmised that with a liquid such as grape juice or vinegar in the pot an electrical current would be created by the potential difference between the iron and copper.  Don’t worry you will not be pouring grape juice into your Nikon or Canon.  Pour the grape juice over Vodka in a glass full of ice and a lemon slice. And screw the experiment, just drink it

The clay has been replaced by plastic, the grape juice has been replaced by an electrolyte gel, and the iron and copper are now lithium, cobalt, or carbon.   A proven point that grapes are good for more than getting drunk, the birth of fermenting preceded batteries.

Pioneer work with the lithium battery began in 1912 under G.N. Lewis but it was not until the early 1970s when the first non-rechargeable lithium batteries were sold.  Previous attempts blew up and killed a few people, and even took out half a dozen airliners.