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Saturday, 27 December 2014



Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus became in around 600BC the first person to experiment on electricity, which he obtained by rubbing pieces of amber.

When amber is rubbed with cloth, it attracts light objects, such as feathers. The effect first noticed by the Ancient Greeks, is due to acquisition of negative electric charge, hence the adaptation of the Greek word for amber, elektron, for electricity.

Ancient Romans recommended touching electric fish to cure headache or gout.

The first street in the world to be lit by electric light bulbs was Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 1879.

Godalming in southeastern England came to world attention when it became the first town in the world to have a public electricity supply installed, which made electricity available to consumers. It was powered by a waterwheel, located at Westbrook Mill, on the river Wey. The Godmaling streets were first illuminated on October 1, 1881.


In an effort to produce electric light, Thomas Edison studied the entire history of lighting. He filled 200 notebooks containing more than 40,000 pages with his notes on gas illumination alone.

Thomas Edison designed the first hydroelectric plant, which supplied electricity to 59 customers in a square-mile area in lower Manhattan, New York City. America used a 110-volt electricity supply so when Edison wanted to supply electricity to subscribers, the gas suppliers, in fear for their domestic lighting business took him to court. They argued that electricity was too dangerous to be supplied to households. The courts’ ruling was that a maximum 100-volt was safe to supply.

AT 3pm on September 4, 1882, Thomas Edison flicked a switch to turn on the world’s first electricity power station in Pearl Street, Manhattan. This is considered by many as the day that began the electrical age.

A sketch of an early power plant on Pearl Street

The Vulcan Street Plant, the first hydroelectric central station to serve a system of private and commercial customers in North America, was put into operation on September 30, 1882 in Appleton, Wisconsin, US. The first buildings to be lit by the Vulcan Street Plant were the Appleton Paper and Pulp Company building, the Vulcan Paper Mill  and the home of H.J. Rogers, who was the president of the Appleton Paper and Pulp Co at the time.

The w:Paper Discovery Center in w:Appleton, The parking lot and building were the location for the Vulcan Street Plant

The first long distance (21 mile (84 km)) AC line was built for the 1884 International Exhibition of Turin, Italy. It was powered by a 2000-V, 130Hz Siemens & Halske alternator  The system proved the feasibility of AC electric power transmission on long distances.

The first house in the world to have its electricity supplied by wind power was in Kincardineshire, Scotland in 1887.

The first successful US electric street railway system, the Richmond Union Passenger Railway, began operations on February 2, 1888.

The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States was completed on June 3, 1889. It run 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.

New York City streets in 1890. Besides telegraph lines, multiple electric lines were required for each class of device requiring different voltages

The 1891 International Electro-Technical Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, featured the world's first long distance transmission of high-power, three-phase electrical current (the most common form today).

The General Electric Company was formed in 1892.

The first steam turbine used in a public utility to generate electricity in America was nicknamed 'Mary-Ann.' Hartford Electric Light Company of Hartford, Connecticut, realized an extra demand for electricity in 1900 and decided in 1901 to purchase this steam turbine generator. The turbine, built by Westinghouse and rated at 1.5 megawatts, ran at Hartford Electric's Pearl Street plant from 1901 to 1905.

Benjamin Harrison was the first president to use electricity in the White House. After he got a nasty shock, however, his family refused to touch any of the switches and would sometimes go to bed with the lights on.

Up to the 1930s, people still thought of electricity mainly as a way of lighting their houses. Usually, there would be just one light sockets, and maybe a power point for a "wireless" (as radios were called then.

During World War II, Oak Ridge Tennessee, population 75,000, used 1/7 of all US electricity to process uranium for the atomic bomb.

The Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I), which is located in the desert about 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Arco, Idaho was the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant. At 1:50 pm on December 20, 1951, it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs.

A power grid failure in northern and eastern India on July 31, 2012 left twenty states in the country without electricity. The blackout was the largest power outage in history, affecting over 620 million people, about 9% of the world population or half of India's population.


The word ‘electric’ comes from the Latin word for amber, electricus, referring to the static electricity that had been observed in amber.

Water itself does not conduct electricity, but the impurities found in water do.

1.6 billion people — one fifth of humanity — live without electricity.

Iceland is the only country whose electricity supply comes entirely from renewable sources.

It is estimated that the entire power supply of Nigeria generates only enough electricity to power a single toaster for every 44 people.

The Dallas Cowboys stadium uses more electricity than all of Liberia.

40% of the electricity in Pakistan goes missing, half of it stolen: when there’s one of the frequent power cuts, they just steal the wires.

The United States consumes an extra 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year from leaving idle devices plugged in.

About 10 percent of electricity in the United States is fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, including Russian ones.

As of 2016, only one cyberterrorist had successfully paralyzed a U.S. power grid, while at least 623 squirrels had done the same thing.

The electricity produced by your brain could power a 25 watt light bulb.

Just a little static shock, like rubbing your socks on a carpet, can generate an electrical discharge of 25,000 volts.

Scientists say that animals avoid high voltage power lines because of flashing UV light that is undetectable to humans.

Sources Daily Express, Europress Encyclopedia,

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