The cell was set up in a glass, or glazed earthenware, pot. This contained the chromic acid solution, the carbon plate and a porous pot. Inside the porous pot was dilute sulfuric acid, the zinc rod, and a small quantity of mercury. The mercury formed an amalgam with the zinc and this reduced “local action", i.e. unwanted dissolution of the zinc when the cell was not in use.
GalleriesBatteries and Cells
Benson John Lossing, ed. The New Popular Educator (London, England: Cassell & Company Limited, 1891)