Our story begins in the early 1920s with an inventive scientist named Samuel Ruben and an eager manufacturer of tungsten filament wire named Philip Rogers Mallory. Ruben came to the P.R. Mallory Company seeking a piece of equipment he needed for an experiment. But Ruben and Mallory saw an opportunity: Uniting Ruben’s inventive genius with Mallory’s manufacturing muscle. Their partnership, which would last until Mallory's death in 1975, was the bedrock of Duracell International.
SAMUEL RUBEN AND P.R. MALLORY–THE 1940S
Samuel Ruben's inventions revolutionized battery technology. During World War II, for instance, Ruben devised the mercury cell, which packed more capacity in less space and was durable enough for the harsh climates of wartime theaters like North Africa and the South Pacific—places where ordinary zinc carbon batteries used in flashlights, mine detectors, and walkie-talkies couldn't hold up. P.R. Mallory manufactured millions of mercury cells for the war effort. The Mallory Battery Company was formed shortly thereafter.
THE CREATION OF THE AAA BATTERY
In the 1950s, Samuel Ruben went on to improve the alkaline manganese battery, making it more compact, durable, and longer lasting than anything before it. At about the same time, Eastman Kodak introduced cameras with a built-in flash unit that required more power than zinc carbon cells could provide. The cameras needed alkaline manganese cells but in a new size, the AAA. Mallory made them, and also licensed the technology to others because the company, at that time, had no consumer distribution.
THE BIRTH OF A BRAND
The new photography-related demand for power put alkaline cells on the map, and in 1964 the Duracell brand was introduced. The consumer market for our batteries soon skyrocketed and supplies had to be rationed in the 1970s as manufacturing capacity caught up.
As a brand, we realized that there were (and still are) many uses for batteries. And as technology advanced, the uses for batteries only increased. We quickly became the world's leading producer of high-performance alkaline batteries. And while some people needed to power their child’s new toy, others needed to make sure their smoke detectors worked. But whether you were making your children smile or ensuring their safety at home, we knew that the battery just had to work. Establishing that reliable and consistent performance launched us as the brand that was, and is, trusted everywhere.