14 Fascinating Facts About Electricity and the History of Power
You may want to curse your elementary school teacher. Despite what you probably learned as a child, Benjamin Franklin did not invent electricity. We’ll give Ben this much: His kite experiment demonstrated that lightning is electricity, and he was the first to use the terms positive and negative charge.
But in reality, electricity has always existed — naturally. For example, lightning is simply a flow of electrons between the ground and the clouds. And when you touch something that gives you a shock, it is actually electricity moving toward you. So modern electrical devices such as motors, light bulbs and batteries do not create electricity; they are just innovative inventions that harness and consume it.
The first discoveries of electricity were made by ancient Greek philosophers, who realized that when amber is rubbed against cloth, lightweight objects will stick to it. This basis of static electricity was just the beginning of numerous discoveries made about electricity over the centuries.
- Civilization’s first significant energy invention was fire, and it was only about 5,000 years ago that humans began using other energy sources such as wind.
- About 5,000 years ago, the energy consumed for survival averaged about 12,000 kilocalories per person each day, an amount that had doubled by AD 1400. After the Industrial Revolution, the demand nearly tripled to an average of 77,000 kilocalories per person in 1875. And by 1975, it had tripled again to 230,000.
To read the full article and all 14 facts about electricity and power history, visit Eaton at: https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/article/333/14-fascinating-facts-about-electricity-and-t#
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