All of his devices had batteries with bite marks in them.
This link shows a hardboiled egg spinning on its end, but otherwise seems to agree with me, though it doesn't quite contradict you: http://www.planet-science.com/categories/experiments/magic-t...
Is this really true anymore? I use almost exclusively rechargeable batteries (NiMH & Li-ion & LiFePO4) our my household. Only very low power devices such as clocks run on alkaline batteries.