Antedating of "flat (battery)"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 15 06:52:09 UTC 2013

"flat" as applied to an electric battery (OED sense 9c: 1951)

I found three 1941 antedatings in Starters and Generators (Edward Molloy, ‎Ernest Walter Knott), visible in full view at Hathitrust:

Page 85:

If the clutch is not slipping, the trouble may be insufficient volts reaching the motor, due to a flat battery or a bad connection or switch introducing resistance in the circuit, an electrical fault in the starter, or, very rarely, a mechanical fault in the starter.

Page 86:

A flat battery should be replaced, but the reason for the battery being discharged should be investigated.

Page 98:

Under this no-gap condition, the plunger will remain home on a very reduced voltage (which may occur with a flat battery) and will be less susceptible to vibration, and the contact pressure is a fixed and known amount, being the force of the spring (11), and does not vary with voltage.


The American Dialect Society -

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