Although many people believe that Benjamin Franklin should be the one to take the credits, he is not the one who invented electricity. Electricity wasn’t invented – it was rather discovered. Benjamin Franklin only found that the lightning is electric in its nature by doing his experiment with a kite during a storm.
This led to invention of lightning rods. But let’s return to the beginning of the electricity studies. In the sixth century BC, Thales of Miletus, the famous philosopher, first described a strange occurrence. When he rubbed pieces of amber against fur they would be attracted to each other by some invisible force. He even caused small sparks to burst. Today this is known as static electricity discharge. The electricity did not get the proper attention until the 1650’s.
During those years Otto Von Guericke managed to create a working generator for static electricity. Some of the greatest pioneers in studying electricity arose in this period. All these names are related to electricity: Alessandro Volta, Andre Ampere, Georg Simon Ohm and Michael Faraday. Their work led to such wonderful creations as cathode, anode and electric batteries.
In the eighteenth century scientists managed to find a lot of different ways to use electricity. Capacitor was introduced and static electricity was finally able to be changed into the electric current. Nineteenth century was very important period when it comes to inventions: Nikola Tesla invented the induction motor, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and a method of electrical energy distribution; Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, Antonio Meucci invented the telephone and George Westinghouse invented the first electrically powered locomotive.
Nowadays there are two dominant types of electric energy: DC (direct current) and AC (alternating current). The first one was introduced by Edison and the second one was introduced by Tesla. Each type has its own purpose.