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Energizer Holdings began life as the American Eveready Company in the 1890s, selling a battery-powered flashlight. In 1913, National Carbon Company acquired Eveready and began selling its own Columbia batteries under the Eveready brand name. The company took off in the 1920s when the sales of Eveready Layerbilt batteries skyrocketed as Americans began using them in radios. Following the technological advances of the World War II era, Eveready became the brand to offer a multitude of new products, including the first hearing aid battery.
The Modern Company
In 1980, the Energizer name was first used on the Union Carbide (formerly National Carbon) alkaline battery line. A rivalry with the Duracell brand was established at this time as well. The Energizer division was sold to Ralston Purina in 1986, thus forming the modern company. More applications for batteries, including portable electronic devices of all kinds, led to continued growth for the battery industry. Today Energizer holdings includes Energizer batteries as well as the Schick and Playtex household product brands.
In the years after World War II, Eveready developed the first alkaline batteries. However, with sales of older carbon zinc batteries strong, there was little incentive to redirect the market towards alkaline. Before alkaline batteries became ubiquitous in the 1980s, Eveready continued to produce other products, such as rechargeable batteries, that were used in various military applications, including the space program. Rechargeable car batteries and specialized industrial batteries rounded out the early Eveready offerings.
In the 1980s, Energizer became a major supplier of household alkaline batteries, though its specialty products continued to be developed and manufactured. Energizer introduced the world's first size AAAA alkaline battery in 1989. In 1992, the company began selling lithium ion batteries in the common AA size for long-lasting use in electronic equipment such as portable cassette and CD players. Three years later, Energizer batteries were the first to feature on-battery testers. Energizer NiMH rechargeable batteries appeared in 1995.