Electricity Invention: History of Electricity

Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Electricalvolt

This article describes the electricity invention and the history of electricity. Electricity is a very important discovery of all time. It is one form of energy like machinal, thermal that is used in lighting as well as powering electrical equipment. The discovery of electricity was a revolution that has made our lives very easy. The fact is that, without electricity, we can not imagine a world.

The history of electricity started to come into existence when the ancient Greeks found that static charge can be created by rubbing certain materials together. However, the principle of electricity generation and how to use it could not be understood. Scientists started to understand the principle of electricity & how to use it in the 18th century. Benjamin Franklin, a scientist, discovered electricity and showed that lightning in the sky during storms is a form of electricity. In the 19th century, Michael Faraday and Thomas Edison invented the electric motor, the light bulb, and the first power plant and thus they contributed a lot to the field of electricity.

The history of electricity is a story that shows great innovation and technological progress. From the discovery of static electricity to the modern electrical grids, the story of electricity in the united states is one of the most paramount in the history of science and technology.

Electricity Invention

Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, and Thomas Alva Edison made significant contributions to electricity invention and its utilization. We will now know more about electric inventors and their contributions.

Electricity Invention: Benjamin Franklin

Experiments with electricity in America started in the mid-18th century. Benjamin Franklin, the electricity inventor, had heard that a flying kite can attract lightning and further decided to prove it. Then, he conducted this experiment to prove that lightning is a type of electricity. In 1746, Benjamin Franklin did his famous kite experiment, which established the connection between lightning and electricity.

Franklin made a kite made of silk and tied a metal key to the bottom of the kite string. One day, during a thunderstorm he flew the kite and had a close observation for a lightning bolt to strike. As the storm approached the kite, Franklin observed that the loose fibers on the kite string started to stand on end. He then brought his knuckles near the key and felt a spark jump from the key to his hand. This experiment proved that lightning was in fact an electrical phenomenon.

A History of Electricity in the US-Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s kite experiment showed the connection between electricity and lightning. After that experiment, it had been thought more about the nature of electricity and it set a technical precedent for future development in the field of electricity.

The Franklin kite experiment was very dangerous and such type of experiment should not be done without prior knowledge of electricity. Proper equipment and trained professionals can perform such type of experiment.

Benjamin Franklin is credited for electricity invention with his kite experiment,

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday studied electromagnetism and he did a lot of experiments to establish the relationship between magnetism and electricity. The generation of electricity with the help of magnetic energy was major research in the field of electrical technology. Faraday studied and experimented the electricity and magnetism and formulated the laws which are known as Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction.

Faraday proved that it is possible to generate a magnetic field with an electric current and opposite to this, a varying magnetic field can induce the EMF, and that can establish current in an electric circuit. He also proved that it is possible to produce an electromagnetic field by moving magnets and conductors.

According to Faraday’s law, induced emf within a conductor is directly proportional to the rate of change of the magnetic field it is subjected to with respect to time. It is given as

The function of the electric motor and generator is based on the laws of electromagnetic induction that Farady proposed. His experiments and inventions played a vital role in the applications of electricity. He also did a lot of development in electrical power systems.

Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry, an American scientist, did significant contributions to the field of electricity in the 19th century. His work helped in the development of modern electrical technology and the electrical telegraph.

Electromagnetic induction was one of his important contributions to the field of electrical technology. He discovered that when electric current flows in the conductor, it produces a magnetic field around it. The polarity of the magnetic field always opposes the reason behind its production. It means the magnetic field produced opposes the current.

His work on electromagnetic induction was very important for the development of the telegraph. He thought to develop a p[owerful electromagnet. The reason behind his thought was to transmit electromagnetic waves over a long distance. He made a powerful electromagnet and succeed in doing so. It was a great achievement in the field of telegraphy. He also developed relays that act as a repeater to transmit the signals over even greater distances.

In addition to his work on electromagnetic induction, Henry contributed to the field of electric power. He developed a method of breaking moving machinery using electromagnets and brakes.

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison is one of the most important figures in the history of electricity He was an inventor, scientist, and entrepreneur who made groundbreaking contributions to the field of electrical technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The most important electricity invention of Edison was the incandescent light bulb. This invention provided safe and reliable electric lighting for homes and businesses.

Edison also developed the first electrical power grid. He established the first electric power plant in New York City in 1882. He developed the power transmission to carry electric power over a long distance to provide reliable and huge power to homes and industries.

Edison's Jumbo dynamo

Edison also developed the phonograph- a device that records and playback sound. this invention was a great contribution to the motion picture industry.

There are about 1000 patents in his name. He was a savvy businessman who knew the importance of branding and marketing. He created a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States that continues today.

Development of electrical grid and its impact

The development of the electrical grid in the United States was a complicated process that took several decades. In the early 20th century, power companies started to build centralized power plants with huge power-generating capacity. These power plants were installed near the fuel sources like coal or hydroelectric dams.

A reliable transmission and distribution system is a must to evacuate huge electric power. In 1886, the first long-distance transmission of electricity was done and power was sent 14 miles from a hydroelectric plant to a nearby town. Over the years, power companies built larger and more sophisticated transmission and distribution systems including the HVDC transmission system. As a result, it could be possible to enhance the efficiency of the power transmission system.

The growth of the electric grid and power system played a positive impact on American society. It enabled the growth of industries, and the development of new technologies, and transformed the lives of human beings. Electricity is an indispensable part of modern life, powering our homes, industries, transportation systems, and hospitals.

In conclusion, electricity invention and the history of electricity witnessed technological progress, and social transformation. From the earliest experiments with static electricity to the development of the modern electrical grid, the story of electricity in America is a witness to human creativity and the power of innovation.

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About Satyadeo Vyas

Satyadeo Vyas, M.Tech,M.B.A. is an electrical engineer and has more than 36 years of industrial experience in the operation, maintenance, and commissioning of electrical and instrumentation projects. He has good knowledge of electrical, electronics, and instrumentation engineering.

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