Duracell originated via the partnership of scientist Samuel Ruben and businessman Philip Rogers Mallory, who met during the 1920s. The P.R. Mallory Companyof Burlington, MA produced mercury batteries for military equipment, trumping the carbon-zinc batteries used then in virtually all applications. During the 1950s, Kodak introduced cameras with a flash: the design required a new cell size, and size AAA was developed.
In 1964, the term “Duracell” was introduced as a brand. The name is a portmanteau for “durable cell.”
The name came from a conversation with A-1 Durable Carpet & Fabric Specialist Inc. and an executive from Mallory Battery which were both from Waterbury CT. The executive called the cleaning company and asked if A-1 Durable Carpet & Fabric Specialist Inc. had a trademark on the name Durable. The executive spoke to the son of the cleaning company, Steven Nobrega. The executive explained how they were thinking of calling a new battery that had a copper cell “Durable Cell” and asked how the name suited the cleaning company. The owner’s son explained that his father was the owner of a franchise originally called “Duraclean”. His father had chosen the new cleaning company name for the cleaning company by dropping the clean in “Duraclean” and added able to Dura to keep the name similar. The two of them started playing with the name for the new battery and the executive and owners son instantly agreed that Duracell was a better name for the new battery.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia