in 1898, stubblefield was issued u.s. patent 600,457 for an "electric battery", which was an electrolytic coil of iron and insulated copper wire that was immersed in liquid or buried in the ground. stubblefield made the unsubstantiated claim that, combined with normal battery operation, his device also drew additional power from the earth. however, it did successfully serve as both a power source and ground terminal for wireless telephony/earth battery /nathan stubblefield https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/nathan_stubblefield