There are many different types of batteries, and they are an invention that, believe it or not, dates back several thousand years.
What appears to be ancient batteries have been unearthed in what is now Iraq. These batteries were made of clay jars filled with vinegar. An iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder was placed in the vinegar. These ancient cells typically produced 1-2 volts.
What ancient Iraqis would have done with 2V remains somewhat of a mystery, but the invention of the first “real” battery is credited to Alessandro Volta around 1800.
Why Volta and the not ancient Iraqis?
For one, no one knows who the original designer of the ancient battery was.
Secondly, it’s likely that Volta had at least some rudimentary understanding of how his battery worked, while no one’s sure if the ancient Iraqis did or if they even used it as a battery at all. The verdict on what exactly this artifact was intended for is still out.
Of course, Volta’s battery (and the ancient versions) were nothing like the batteries you’re used to working with today.