Carl Gassner (1839-1882), a German scientist who invented the first dry cell battery in 1888. Gassner used zinc as the container for the other battery elements as well as for the negative electrode. In Gassner's design, the electrolyte was absorbed by a porous material and the cell was sealed across the top. This cell was easy to handle and portable, thus becoming the modern carbon-zinc, general-purpose battery. Gassner was also the first to add zinc chloride to the electrolyte, which reduces the corrosion of zinc when the cell is idle, adding considerably to the cell’s useful life.
Gassner - Biography (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Institute of Chemistry)
History of Batteries (British Battery Manufacturers Association)
The Dry-Cell Battery (Kapi'olani Community College Library, Honolulu, Hawai'i)