The History of Electricity

History of Electricity

History of ElectricityAny person, not only the kids but the adults too, will be fascinated by the history of electricity – from the discovery of electric power to the way it has become an integral part of the human civilization. Electrical energy is indispensable for our daily life – from lighting up our homes to cooking food and powering up electronics. Today’s world will come to a standstill without it. But, where does it come from? Who has discovered it? Let’s take a history lesson.

The History of Electricity – From the Beginning to Today’s World

What is electricity? It is a form of energy generated by some charged particles such as electrons and protons. It’s the flow of electric charge that can be dynamic (the stream of current) or static (accumulation of charge in a particular place). Now, let’s know about the inventors who were the instrumentals behind making electricity the part of our life.

How Was Electricity Discovered?

The history of electricity will be incomplete without mentioning the famous kite experiment of the American inventor Benjamin Franklin in 1752. It gave people the concrete proof about the presence of electrical power. British scientist Michael Faraday brought the first breakthrough by discovering the fundamental principles of energy generation in 1831. He created an electric current on a small scale by moving magnets inside copper wire coils.

Faraday’s discovery transformed the way we use energy. The same principle is currently used in modern power plants but on a much larger scale.

The Early Days & Thomas Edison

History of ElectricityThe name Thomas Edison is inextricable in the history of electricity. He was one of the greatest pioneers in this sector. The American inventor brought the theory into practical use by inventing the incandescent light bulb, which he patented in 1880. It quickened the demise of the gas lighting industry and created a pool of consumers for the new energy type.

Edison launched a company that later became famous as the General Electric. He opened the country’s first central power plant in the Pearl Street Station, Manhattan. Through a network of underground copper lines, he connected a large bank of generators and supplied energy to the buildings in that area.

The Emergence of Samuel Insull

The history of electricity will always remember Insull for modernizing the concept of energy distribution. He was an Englishman who started his career as Edison’s personal assistant. He left the General Electric in 1892 and joined another electric firm. He was a master businessman as he became able to implement the concept of mass production at low costs. He consolidated the small companies and produced energy on a large scale for mass consumption. He also introduced a networked power system, two-part pricing, and helped to bring rural areas under the electricity coverage. His contributions to the electrical industry are considered similar to what Henry Ford did for the automobile. Insull not only transformed an expensive product into an everyday commodity but also made it a part of the life of millions of people.


Electricity has long become an integral part of the modern life. Nearly every aspect of modern civilization and our daily life depend on an affordable and reliable supply of electrical energy. It has become so crucial that the history of electricity is actually a lesson on how it has shaped the modern world through ages.