Meucci earth batteries

[...]While power for his early teletrofonic system was derived from large wet cell batteries in the basement, Meucci made a pivotal discovery, discovered when he grounded his lines with large dissimilar metal plates. Suddenly, his system operated as if large batteries had been added to the line. Meucci disconnected the basement batteries and the system continued to operate, powered by ground currents alone.

This use of buried dissimilar plates repeatedly appears throughout early telegraphic patents. The actual devices by which this astounding electrification of lines was established were called "earth batteries". Several significant individuals made remarkable discoveries while developing earth batteries throughout the latter 1800’s. They found that the earth batteries were not really generating the power at all.

Earth batteries tap into earth electricity and draw it out for use. Some telegraphic lines continue to operate well into the 1930’s with no other batteries than their ground endplates. Certain systems continued using their original earth batteries without replacement in excess of 40 years!

Earth batteries are intriguing because they seem never to corrode in proportion to the amount of electrical power which they generate. In fact, they scarcely corrode at all. Exhumed earth batteries showed minimal corrosion. A mysterious self-regenerative action takes place in these batteries, a phenomenon worthy of modern study.

Like Thomas Edison after him, Meucci was a master of practical chemistry. Numerous of his processes remain unused to this day. He developed strange chemical coatings; using saltwater, graphite, soapstone, wax, muriatic acid, asbestos, sulfur, and various bonding resins to treat wire conductors. Wire lines, specially treated by Meucci, had current rectifying abilities. These absorbed and directed both terrestrial and aerial electricity into the line, a one-way charge valve. Technically what he created is a large surface area diode.( Moray)

When these specially coated wires were elevated, Meucci enhanced the absorption of "atmospheric electricity" into his system. Prevented from escape by chemical coatings, a steady stream of aerial charges were absorbed into the wire line. He succeeded in powerfully operating his system with "aerial electricity" alone.

[Source: http://www.icehouse.net/john1/mucci.html]