August 2020 – Durfee Newsletter

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Well, we have Duracell batteries on sale.  We’ve been selling batteries forever here at Durfees.  Well, ok, actually the first battery was invented by an Italian in 1799  (Alessandro Volta).  We’ve only been around 1930 but we were selling batteries since then.

The consumer types of batteries have only been around since 1890.  The Ever Ready battery company sold the “Eveready Battery” and was one of the main producers of batteries in the US.  The other major company was the Mallory Company that sold Duracell batteries.   In a strange business twist, Mallory was the parent company of a company that sold “Ever Ready” batteries in Europe.  Over the years the US company name changed to Duracell to match its battery brand.

We used to sell radios at the store and when the transistor radio was invented that was one of the uses.  Of course the other was for flashlights.  Back when I was a kid working at the store, the carbon zinc batteries were popular.  That was the technology for the first “dry cell” that could operate in any position (unlike the original wet types of batteries).  This allowed for lots of innovation.

When I was young I would repair people’s flashlights at the store.  The incandescent bulb would burn out rather quickly and the filament would just break if you dropped the flashlight.   The batteries would also corrode and ruin the inside of the flashlight.

Things have come a long way.  We now sell LED based flashlights that are very powerful and last a long time.   I sometimes wish for “the old days” but this is one case where today’s stuff is way better.


I have had to tend to some family issues this past month so I didn’t have much time to work on the house.  I just bought the regular bathroom cleaning stuff and the Covid stuff like disposable masks and cleaners.  I did reglue a couple more 6 panel doors though.  They all close nicely now that the panels have no separation between them.  Also had to have a couple of keys made.


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