Electricity Innovations

Even though the modern electric utility industry didn’t begin until the late 1800s, we have been fascinated by electricity since our ancestors first witnessed lightning. The ancient Greeks discovered that rubbing amber produced an electric charge. Electricity is a basic part of nature and it is one of our most widely used forms of energy. It is a secondary energy source that we get from the conversion of primary sources such as natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear power. Many cities and towns were built alongside waterfalls that turned water wheels to perform work. Before the beginning of the electricity generation, kerosene lamps lit houses, iceboxes were used to keep food cold, and rooms were warmed by stoves. The “necessities” of today such as light bulbs, fans, air conditioners and refrigerators stem from the ideas of inventors that lived over 100 years ago. Many of us are familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment and Thomas Edison’s electrical light bulb, but there were many other inventors that contributed greatly to our modern uses of electricity. Some of these inventors simply sought to improve upon old ideas and others saw a need and let their curiosity run wild with each experiment until they discovered something new. Each invention paved the way for the next.

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