Exploring the History of Electricity

If you believe that electricity did not exist during ancient times, then now is the time for you to think again. Even before the geniuses of the human race made their discoveries on the existence of electricity, it was already felt by ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, Romans and Arabs.

The oldest record which describes the bodily reaction that one would get from an electric current is found in ancient Egyptian texts. This described the shocks that are brought about from a close encounter with the electric fish. They even hailed the fish as the ultimate protector of other living creatures in the Nile River.

This was just one of the earliest records that point to the existence of electricity. It was further substantiated by the writings of Pliny the Elder who clearly described the numbing effects that torpedo rays and other fish deliver.

Overtime, more observations and discoveries pertaining to electricity were made, but there were notable individuals who greatly contributed to the evolution of the electricity that everybody is enjoying right now. Let’s take a look at some of them.

William Gilbert

In 1600, he coined the word electricus (Latin), which means “like amber” after he researched on magnetism and electricity, where he was able to distinguish between static electricity and the lodestone effect. This is considered as the birth of the word “electricity.”

Benjamin Franklin

Known for his kite experiment, it was said that in 1752, he flew a damp kite with a metal key attached to the bottom portion of the string, in an impending storm. Sparks were produced from the key, which reached the back of Franklin’s hand. From this experiment, it was shown that lighting is truly electricity at work.

Luigi Galvani

He discovered in 1791 that the signals that pass between the body’s nerve cells and muscles are made up of electric current.

Alessandro Volta

He invented the first ever battery using only cardboard, zinc and copper. This led to the production of a current of electricity. Volt, which is the unit of voltage at present, was derived after Alessandro Volta.

André-Marie Ampère

He is the one who discovered electromagnetism. He was the one who devised a manner on how the flow of electricity can be measured. Ampere, which is the unit of electric current today, was derived after him.

Georg Ohm

He is the source of the famous Ohm’s Law, which states that the resistance of a substance to an electrical flow affects the amount of current that can flow through it. Simply stated, Ohm’s Law is, current equals to voltage divided by resistance.

Michael Faraday

The modern world owes Faraday a lot. He’s the one who discovered that a magnet that moves near a copper wire coil will create an electric current in the wire.

Henry Woodward

He contributed a lot to the discovery of the electric light bulb. He, along with a colleague, created the most basic structure for the light bulb, but due to insufficiency of funds to further develop it, they sold the patent to Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison

He improved on the structure of Woodward and got to invent the first incandescent light bulb using a filament, a strand of paper and a glass globe.

The history of electricity is one amazing story which can definitely enlighten everyone on how the present world got to enjoy electricity and its benefits.

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