The History of Electricity

From apartment buildings to naval ships, everyone must have electric power these days. Even if you are living on a desert island, it helps to have electric lights, heat and air. Imagine what life would be like with no electricity. Cooking your food without a stove or oven would be difficult. Washing your clothes would be a real chore without energy. You’ll rarely find any spot with human inhabitants where there’s not some type of electrical grid nearby to power everything.

History of ElectricityThe beginnings of electricity

The electric eel and other electric fish were first noticed thousands of years ago by ancient Egyptians. Seeing these fish produce electric shockwaves made people wonder if there were a way to produce this same affect in other environments. Of course, everyone knows of Ben Franklin’s research with lightning. But it was an Englishman, William Gilbert, who first coined the phrase “electricus”, which means “of amber” in Latin. This occurred around 1600AD. His research began as simply creating static electricity by rubbing things like cat fur.

In fact, many inventors have been responsible for various discoveries in the field of electricity and this has occurred over thousands of years. With electrical grids covering our whole planet today, it may be hard to understand how it took the humans 6000 years to invent a simple thing like electricity. And yet, it is at the very center of all technological advancements. We simply couldn’t have made the great strides in electronics, communications, space travel or even common things like household appliances, without the discovery of electricity.

Do we need nuclear power?

Nuclear power plants provide about 20 percent of America’s electricity and there are now 99 working nuclear power plants in the US. Their construction was a matter of much controversy that still goes on today. Some earthlings believe that we MUST have nuclear power and that the risks are worth the rewards. Others say that each of the 99 plants is a ticking time bomb. All it would take is one big meltdown like the one in Japan in 2011. There were over 16,000 people killed, almost 7,000 injured and several thousand people still listed as “missing”. Whole towns were left uninhabitable still to this day.

History of ElectricitySolar and wind power

Tragedies like these force people to talk about whether there’s any other power source that we could use that would be safer. There are several as a matter of fact. Solar power has grown and increased in popularity over the last 15 years. New solar farms are built and installed each year. Wind power is also coming along well. Countries all over the world have built their own Wind Farms and they seem to be producing well without many problems.

When you think about the damage that just one nuclear power plant explosion could cause, it makes complete sense to march ahead searching for renewable, dependable energy sources. It’s a step toward cleaner energy and improving our environment. The earth’s supply of gas, oil and coal will eventually be depleted anyway and then we’ll have no choice but to seek out new ways to produce enough electricity to power the world.

Even then, the whole world will still need a good electrician to install their breaker boxes and do the wiring for their new office. It seems like a lucrative trade with a productive future ahead.

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