Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Who Invented Electricity

What is electricity?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, electricity is a form of energy with positive and negative charges that occurs naturally as well as it is produced. It is also a natural or physical phenomenon and always present in nature in electro static form. There are various phenomenons related to electricity like lightning, static electricity, electric heating, electric discharges, etc.

Who Invented Electricity


In ancient times when the concept of electricity does not exist, people were known about the electric fish. They used to call it 'Thunderer of the Nile' as well as protectors of other fish. Even for diseases like gout or headache, they used shock by electric fish for the treatment. The earliest researcher of electricity was Thales of Miletus, in 600 BC. Thales used to rub the cat's fur with rods of amber, which attract towards each other due to static electricity.

Who is the father of electricity?

Further, in 1600 William Gilbert, an English physician, also called the father of modern electricity, finds out the lodestone effect. The effect was because of static electricity, which generates when amber was rubbed. Gilbert gave it the name Electricus. Electricus is a Latin word that meaning is of amber. The word electric or electricity was first mentioned in the book Pseudodoxia Epidemica by Thomas Browne in 1646.

Who Invented Electricity

Benjamin Franklin's experiment of kite-flying and Leyden jar

In June 1752, through the experiment of Benjamin Franklin, it was proved that lightning was indeed electrical in nature. He did the experiment by attaching a metal key with a kite string and flew a kite in the stormy sky that results in a spark in the key. So from this experiment of kite-flying, he proved that lighting had always been electrical in nature. Thereafter, Benjamin demonstrated the function of a Leyden jar as a tool that can reserve the positive and negative charges in a big amount.

Who Invented Electricity

Bioelectromagnetics was invented by Luigi Galvani in 1791. He also got it printed in the same year. In this book, he explained the function of electricity as a medium through which neurons send the signal to muscles.

Developments in the field of electricity

Let's discuss various developments in the field of electricity. It includes development of Volta's battery, development of electromagnetism, and other important developments. We will also discuss the production and demand of electricity.

Development of Volta's battery

A more dependable or stable source of energy was developed as a form of battery in 1800. Alessandro Volta pioneered this more stable electrostatic instrument. The battery was made up of zinc and copper by layering alternatively. It is also called Voltaic pile.

Who Invented Electricity

Developments of electromagnetism

There are some scientists who developed electromagnetism. Let' discuss in detail.

  • From 1819 to 1820, Hans Christian Orsted and Andre-Marie Ampere found out that when electricity is united with magnetic power, it creates electromagnetism. In 1821 the electric motor was developed by Faraday.
  • After him, in 1827, it was Georg Ohm who explained electrical circuit
  • Later in 1831, Michael Faraday discovered the theory of electromagnetic induction. This theory is also known as Faraday's law of induction. However, it was James Clerk Maxwell with whom the theory of electricity and magnetism was linked. It is mentioned in detail in the book "on physical lines of force". He illustrated some facts about electromagnetic fields. He explained that both fields, electric and magnetic are present in space in the form of waves. It has been traveling at a speed of 0 x 108 m/s.
  • After then he justified the light as it is electromagnetic radiation. Maxwell also gave prophesy about the presence of radio waves in space. And later on, based on his prophesy, many developments and experiments were done, like; the light as electrical in nature, inventions of radio waves, the theory of relativity, and other so many discoveries in physics.

Other important developments

There were significant developments in the field of electricity by several scientists in the late 19th century.

  • Heinrich Hertz, in 1887 invented the significance of electrodes that when it is lighted up by ultraviolet light, it produces electric sparks.
  • A paper published by Albert Einstein in 1905 explained the photoelectric effect that led to the quantum revolution. For this discovery, Einstein got a Novel prize in physics in 1921. Due to the discovery of the photoelectric effect, solar panels were made, which made electricity commercial.
  • Solid-state device was invented as a cat's whisker detector first used in 1900 in radio receivers. Further, with the commencement of transistor technology, solid-state electronics came.
  • In 1947 a workable transistor was developed by many scientists of Bell lab. Some of them were John Bardeen, William Shockley, etc. but these earlier transistors were bulky as it was not portable due to which it cannot be produced on mass-basis.
  • In 1959 with the new improvements Mohamed M. Atalla and Dawon Kahng invented a lightweight transistor in Bell labs. That was Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor, also known as MOSFET or MOS Now it could have been produced on a mass basis.

Solid-state electric devices

olid-state devices are; vacuum tubes, transistors, integrated circuit(IC) chips, MOSFETs, and light-emitting diode (LED). In these devices, MOSFET was the most popular as well as the most demandable device in the world. The MOS devices are microprocessor chips as well as semiconductor memory.

Production and demand

  • The First production of electrical energy was made in the 6th century BC, by the Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus with amber rods. But the method that is known as the turboelectric effect, which was inefficient as it could not lift light objects and generate sparks.
  • With the development of voltaic pile in the 18th-century, electricity was obtainable. The battery accumulated the energy in the chemical form, and at the time of need, it is used as electric energy. The battery was a versatile and common source of power that suited to many applications, but its energy storage is finite, as once it is discharged, it must be either recharged or disposed of.
  • Due to lots of electrical demands, there was a need for generators of electrical power for transmitting electrical energy continuously over conductive transmitted lines. Therefore to fulfill the requirements, Electrical power was produced by electromechanical generators. From wind and flowing water, kinetic energy was produced.
  • In 1884 Sir Charles Parsons invented the steam turbine, which can generate about 80% of the electric power used for different sources in the world.
  • In the late 19th- century, the transformer was invented. Through transformer, electrical power can be transmitted at a higher voltage but lower current by the centralized power station where electricity generated and dispatched for long distances where it was needed. Since electrical energy cannot be stored in large quantity, it is produced through power stations whenever required. However, due to the modernization and invention of electronics items on a large scale, the demand for electrical energy is increasing day by day.
  • The U.S. declared the increasing demand for electricity per year after its development in many forms. Moreover, due to environmental concerns now renewable sources of energy, especially wind and solar energy become the primary focus for the generation of energy.
Who Invented Electricity


In the 1870s, the invention of the light bulb is the earlier application of electricity which was the first publicly available application. By the time more applications are invented for heating and cooling as electrical energy perform both functions. Refrigerator, air condition, heat pump are some examples that need more power consumption. However, telecommunications and the electrical telegraph were the earliest applications. The Electric motor is the best example of electromagnetism. The battery is the power source for electric vehicles, like public transportation, which includes electric buses, trains, and electric cars. Transistor was one of the most significant inventions as it was the most important part of modern circuitry as well as many other devices.

Who Invented Electricity

Uses and importance

Since electricity is invented and developed by ancient people but it came into use (for industry and residents) after electromagnetism theory in the 19th century. By the time with the expansion of technology, it becomes an important part of people's life as now most of the work depends upon electricity. For every walk of life, we need electricity in transport, communications, computation, lighting, heating, etc. Now, electricity has become the most important part of our lives as without it we cannot imagine a single day of our life.

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA