Interesting facts on the history of electricity
Interesting facts on the history of electricity from one of the leading wire and cable manufacturers
Can you imagine a world where there is no electricity? No lights, no fans, nothing at all. Well, that was the world the humans lived until the early 19th century. Thanks to scientists like Galileo Ferraris, Alexander Graham Bell, Otto Blathy, Thomas Edison and many others, electricity became an essential part of our daily lives. But do you know who built the first thermal power plant? Well, it was Thomas Edison who built the first thermal power plant on Pearl Street Station in Manhattan in 1882.
To learn more interesting facts on the history of electricity, keep on reading:
- The discovery of electricity: Though in elementary schools it is taught that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity, in reality, his famous kite experiment proved lightning has electricity. Interestingly, while conducting the famous kite experiment Franklin took all the necessary precautions like standing on an insulator and keeping himself dry. Franklin’s experiments led him to invent a lightning rod - a rod attached to the roof of the building and connected to the earth. This invention protected the buildings from lightning.
- The first practical use of electricity: One of the first practical publicly available applications of electricity was the invention of the incandescent light bulb by Thomas Edison. In early 1882, Thomas Edison illuminated JP Morgan’s Madison Avenue house with 385 lightbulbs! In September of 1882, Edison opened the Pearl Street Station. At that time there was no electric grid and people who wanted power for electric lights depended on generators located on-site. With Pearl Street Station coming into the picture, the power generation model shifted to an industrial scale.
- The foundation of electrical communication: Today, it is impossible to imagine life without mobile phones. But the very foundation of electrical communication was laid in the 1840s. The electric telegraph for the first time made it possible for mankind to send point-to-point text messages. This is what got everybody's attention. Before the invention of telegraphs, smoke signals and other visual ways of communication was used. In today’s age, can you even imagine sending your friend a smoke signal to say hi?
- AC vs DC: In the 1880s there was the war of currents between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Edison developed direct current (DC) while Tesla invented alternating current (AC). The two wanted their inventions to be popular. But ultimately it was Tesla’s AC that became more popular as it was a safer option. AC can be converted to different voltages relatively easily using a transformer while DC is not easily converted to higher or lower voltages.
In today’s world, nearly everyone has electricity at home, school and at work. But we should not take this powerful force for granted. As one of the leading wire and cable manufacturers, we urge people to use safe switches, fans, wires and cables.