User Input

User Input: Personal Hypocrisy

Betcha money they're all dead.

I had one of those moments last night where I was glad there was nobody around when I was working on a particular project. I was putting together a piece of furniture we had purchased, and was feeling quite proud of myself as I had thought to replace […]


Boys’ Life: Battery Operated

Good morning everyone! This morning’s look at an ad from an early 1960s Boys’ Life is for the Burgess Battery Company, purveyors of fine dry cell batteries and flashlights to use those batteries in. I had never heard of Burgess Batteries, and while I can confirm the existence of such a company, as well as some limited history on the man behind it, hard information on history of the company seems to be seriously lacking. The company seems to have experienced a revival of sorts in the 2007-2010 timeframe, that quickly came and went, and the website for that company was the primary historical source for much of the information on the web. Even utilizing the very helpful Wayback Machine only aids in discerning the first few years of company operation (I also found a blog post from the new owner of Burgess, but it links to the same dead website). Take a look past the jump to learn what can be learned about Burgess, and if you have some secret info be sure to share!

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Startup: Not As Obvious As You Would Think

You would think that as soon as dry cell batteries became commercially available in 1896 and with electric lanterns already being sold, a handheld flashlight would practically invent itself. But no, instead, Conrad Hubert (né Akiba Horowitz) first invented the electric flower pot. It contained a small low voltage light and a […]


Startup: Recharge

Ironically, this is how I’ve felt lately.

As you may have noticed from my dearth of content over the last few days, I’ve been travelling. While hunting for serviceable Internet has been one challenge, that has certainly been trumped by my perpetual search for sources of electricity from which to charge all my […]


Startup: Power Struggles

I don't know what those words mean. Some of you won't even notice there are words at all.

Today is the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen. While he is best known as the man who gave his name to the scientist who perpetually blows up Beaker on the Muppet Show, and as the […]

User Input

User Input: Shiny New Toys

Shiny New Toys


A few days ago TechieInHell ran a post about newer consumer products with built-in and non-accessible batteries, which got me thinking about waste and planned obsolescence. It seems no sooner do you buy something than it becomes “no longer supported” and replaced by an even newer version. It’s enough to drive you mad.

“That phone is old…” said the girl at the wireless store, a few years ago when I went in for an extended battery.

“I JUST bought it!” I replied, miffed.

“Yeah, but we don’t even support Q’s anymore… you might try the internet”

Now, some of us love to have the latest and greatest in gadget technology, while others prefer to wait and purchase higher quality “keeper” items they plan to use and keep around for a good long-long time.

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User Input

User Input: Batteries Possibly Included

Every other advertisement during children’s cartoons in the 80’s ended with the oh-so-famous phrase, “Batteries Not Included.” So pervasive was this meme that they even made a movie about it. One of the best things about the enlightened age that we live in is that almost everything that needs batteries (or at least a […]

User Input

User Input: That’s Puzzling

The 1980’s are for some reason fondly remembered by many. Perhaps two Star Wars sequels plus a weapons program with the same name does something to rub people’s nostalgia button. One of the most recognizable totems of the 80’s is (you probably guessed from the picture) the Rubik’s Cube. At 350 million […]


Tech Etymology: the Battery

Image source

While Ben Franklin didn’t invent the Leyden jar, an early capacitor that stored static electricity for later discharge, he did come up with the name for a group of the devices together: the battery. His inspiration was the name for a group of other devices whose discharge could be similarly […]