His most important contribution at this date was the invention of the voltameter and his enunciation of the laws of electrolysis.
The shunted voltameter was then inserted in series with the electric supply mains leading to the house or building taking electric energy, and the current which passed dissolved the zinc from one plate and deposited it upon the other, so that after a certain interval of time had elapsed the altered weight of the plates enabled the quantity of electricity to be determined from the known fact that an electric current of one ampere, flowing for one hour, removes 1.2533 grammes of zinc from a solution of sulphate of zinc. Hence the quantity in amperehours passing through the electrolytic cell being known and the fraction of the whole quantity taken by the cell being known, the quantity supplied to the house was determined.
Davy on the decomposition of the solutions of salts by the voltaic current were turned to account in the water voltameter telegraph of Sdmmering and the modification of it proposed by Schweigger, and in a similar method proposed by Coxe, in which a solution of salts was substituted for water.
A third electrolytic meter of the shunted voltameter type is that of A.
The voltameter provided a means of measuring quantity of electricity, and in the hands of Faraday and his successors became an appliance of fundamental importance.