Alessandro Volta (1745-1827)
A century and a half after Galileo's death, something of scientific importance was to develop in Italy. Volta, a former high school physics teacher, found that it was the presence of two dissimilar metals, not the frog leg, that was critical. In 1800, after extensive experimentation, he developed the voltaic pile. The original voltaic pile consisted of a pile of zinc and silver discs and between alternate discs, a piece of cardboard that had been soaked in saltwater. A wire connecting the bottom zinc disc to the top silver disc could produce repeated sparks. No frogs were injured in the production of a voltaic pile.
However, regarding Galvani's biological experiments, Volta effectively rejected the idea of an "animal electric fluid". The Galvani vs. Volta debate was one of the most interesting episodes in the history of science, and was devoid of personal animosity, because Galvani and Volta were both gentleman and friends, and also had high scientific principles. In fact, Volta, who generously coined the term galvanism, wrote that Galvani's work "contained one of the most beautiful and most surprising discoveries." Upon demonstrating the workings of the voltaic pile to the French Academy of Science, he was made into a count of Lombardy by Napoleon Bonaparte, who had dominated that part of Italy.
The emperor of Austria made him director of the philosophical faculty at the University of Padua in 1815, 12 years before the day he was to die. The volt as we hear today, was named after Alessandro Volta in 1881 in honor and memory of him.
In a nutshell
Volta invented the so-called Volta’s pile (or voltaic pile); the electrophorus; an electric condenser; and the voltaic cell. The volt, a unit of electrical measurement, is named for Volta.