Who invented Electricity? The name of the man most frequently credited with inventing electricity is Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), however the ideas, inventions, developments and contributions of many other brilliant scientists contributed to the ability to create and harness electricity.  Strictly speaking electricity was not invented because it exists as a natural form of energy. The ability to harness and create electricity is considered a foremost achievement and principal advancement to the field of Energy. This article provides a timeline of the key inventions and the names of the men who transported people into the age of electricity.

Who invented Electricity?  The names of the amazing scientists who made major contributions to electricity include William Gilbert, Robert Boyle, Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, Sir Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, Georg Ohm, Andre Ampere, Samuel Morse, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

When did Electricity become available?  Electricity become available as a source of power in homes during the late 19th century and voltages used for electric power transmission increased throughout the 20th century.


Facts about who invented Electricity


 Inventions and Inventors Index


Definition of Electricity: Electricity is defined as a form of energy, a physical phenomenon occurring in nature, associated with stationary or moving electrons and protons. The energy, called electricity is made available by the flow of an electric current or charge through a conductor.

Definition of Static Electricity: Definition: Static electricity is the build-up of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. When electricity gathers in one place it is known as static electricity. Electricity that moves from one place to another is called current electricity. An example of static electricity is when you run a balloon against your jumper it sticks like a magnet. This occurs because rubbing the balloon gives it an electric charge (a small amount of electricity). You can get an electric shock by touching nylon or something metal like a door knob.

Fact 1: Who invented Electricity? Prior to the power of artificial electricity winter was a dark, gloomy, grimy, cold place lit or heated by wood, charcoal, coal, oil of gas. Imagine the changes in your life if you lived in a world without electricity. Consider a world without all of the electrical appliances that make life easier and more comfortable and you will have some idea why artificial electricity is so important.

Fact 2: Who invented Electricity? Thales of Miletus: People have been aware of the existence of static electricity for thousands of years. In 600BC a Greek mathematician and astronomer called Thales of Miletus noticed that when amber was rubbed with silk it attracted feathers and similar light objects. In this way Thales of Miletus had discovered static electricity.

Fact 3: Who invented Electricity? William Gilbert: The word 'electricity' was invented in 1600 by William Gilbert (1544 - 1603), an Elizabethan scientist and physician to Queen Elizabeth I. William Gilbert derived the new word from the Greek word 'elecktra' meaning amber in honor of the discovery of Thales of Miletus. William Gilbert was the first person to describe the earth's magnetic field and to recognize that there is a relationship between magnetism and electricity.

Fact 4: Who invented Electricity? Francis Hauksbee: In 1705 Francis Hauksbee (1666-1713) invented an electrostatic generator that allowed him to create "static electricity". The Hauksbee electrostatic generator consisted of a glass globe which could be rotated rapidly by a hand-cranked wheel. This made it possible to generate an electric charge by rubbing the glass globe with a cotton cloth.

Fact 5: Who invented Electricity? Benjamin Franklin: In 1752 Benjamin Franklin, using his famous kite experiment, was able to prove that electricity could be harnessed from lightning. Benjamin Franklin went on to invent the Lightening Rod.

Fact 6: Who invented Electricity? Alessandro Volta: In 1800 Alessandro Volta (1745 - 1827) invented a charge-generating machine called the 'Voltaic Pile', the forerunner of the modern battery, that provided a source of continuous current. Any practical use of electricity required a source of continuous current. The invention of the Voltaic Pile battery  was crucial to the invention of artificial electricity and future research on electromagnetism (the interaction of electric currents or fields and magnetic fields). The words volt and voltage were derived from the name of Alessandro Volta.

Fact 7: Who invented Electricity? Sir Humphry Davy In 1801 Sir Humphry Davy (1778 - 1829), using the 'Voltaic Pile' battery, discovered that when he passed an electric current through some substances they decomposed. This process later became known as electrolysis.  Experiments with electrolysis enabled Sir Humphry Davy to discover six elements; sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, barium and strontium.

Fact 8: Who invented Electricity? Hans Christian Oersted: In 1820 the Danish inventor Hans Christian Oersted (1777 - 1851) discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields. It was the first connection found between electricity and magnetism.

Fact 9: Who invented Electricity? Michael Faraday: In 1821 Michael Faraday (1791-1867) discovered that when a magnet is moved inside a coil of copper wire, a tiny electric current flows through the wire. It was an important discovery because it led to the invention of electric motors.

Fact 10: Who invented Electricity? Thomas Johann Seebeck:  In 1821 the German physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck discovered Thermoelectricity, the name given to electricity that is generated by heat.

Fact 11: Who invented Electricity? Andre Ampere: In 1826 Andre Ampere (1775 -1836) published his theories about electricity and magnetism explaining the electro-dynamic theory. The unit of electric current called an 'Amp' was named after Andre Ampere.

Fact 12: Who invented Electricity? Georg Ohm:  In 1827 Georg Ohm (1789 -1854) Georg Ohm published his complete mathematical theory of electricity. Ohm's Law deals with the relationship between voltage and current in an ideal conductor. The Standard International (SI) unit of electrical resistance called the 'Ohm' is named after him.

Fact 13: Who invented Electricity? Sir Charles Wheatstone: In 1834 Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802 -1875)  invented the Wheatstone bridge, a device that accurately measured electrical resistance.

Fact 14: Who invented Electricity? Samuel Morse: In 1837 Samuel Morse (1791-1872) invented the first electrical Telegraph and Morse Code. The telegraph system transmitted signals by using an electrical device consisting of a machine to send signals by a wire to a receiving machine.

Fact 15: Who invented Electricity? Alexander Graham Bell: In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922) invented of the Telephone using electricity to transmit speech for the first time.

Fact 16: Who invented Electricity? Thomas Edison: In 1879 Thomas Edison (1847 - 1931) invented the first practical incandescent light bulb and built electric powered generating stations to power electricity.

Fact 17: Who invented Electricity? James Wimshurst: In 1882 British inventor James Wimshurst (1832 - 1903) invented the Wimshurst machine which was able to produce static electricity easily and reliably.

Fact 18: Who invented Electricity? Nikola Tesla: In 1888 Nikola Tesla (1856 - 1943) developed an AC (alternating current) motor and a system of AC power generation that became the established power supply in the United States. Nikola Tesla also invented the Telsa Coil producing produce extremely high frequency current that enabled him to  to develop some of the first neon and fluorescent lights.

Fact 19: Who invented Electricity? Sir Charles Parsons:  In 1884 Sir Charles Parsons (1854 - 1931) built the turbine engine which he used to drive an electrical generator. Turbine driven generators were introduced to produce electricity in 1890.

Fact 20: Who invented Electricity? Heinrich Hertz: In 1886 Heinrich Hertz (1857 - 1894) produced and detected electric waves in the atmosphere.

Fact 21: Who invented Electricity? J. J. Thomson: In 1897 J. J. Thomson (Sir Joseph John Thomson: 1856 - 1940 ) discovered the electron.

Fact 22: Who invented Electricity? Albert Einstein: In 1905 Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) proved that light energy could be used to produce electricity, the idea behind photovoltaic cells.

Fact 23: The great inventions during Industrial Revolution in the Age of Electricity led to the invention of the Refrigerator, the Electric Light, Radio, Electric Iron, the Washing Machine, the Electric Blanket, the Telephone, the Phonograph and many, many more.

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