Who discovered or invented electricity?

By Energy Company Numbers on December 28, 2015 in Help and advice

Electricity is something that we rely on a daily basis, but it is also something that occurs naturally in nature. Since it has always been in existence, it is difficult to understand how it was discovered. This means that it can’t actually be invented, because it has always just been.

When it comes to electricity, however, there are a number of misconceptions that exist.

Many credit Benjamin Franklin with discovering electricity, but if you delve deeper, you learn that Franklin only discovered a link between lightening and electricity.

This means that crediting Franklin with the discovery of electricity is not really accurate.

The truth about the discovery of electricity

The real discovery of electricity involved much more than a man flying his kite around outdoors (Franklin’s tests). The discovery of electricity can actually be traced back to more than two thousand years ago. It is believed that in 600 BC the ancient Greeks determined that rubbing fur on amber would result in an attraction. This means that the Greeks unknowingly discovered static electricity. There were even ancient batteries that were discovered in 1930.

These ancient batteries were derived from pots containing copper.

These ancient batteries are believed to have been a way to produce light in ancient Greece. There have even been other batteries of the same type that have been found at archaeological digs that have taken place in Baghdad. This also means that ancient Persians too used a type of battery during their time.

The 1600s and the 17th Century

It was in 1600 that a doctor named William Gilbert first identified electricity using the Latin word electrius when describing the force that is created when substances are rubbed against one another. Thomas Browne then completed many studies based on Gilbert’s work.

It was in 1752, many years after the work of Gilbert and Browne that Ben Franklin did an experiment using a kite.

Franklin’s experiment proved that lightening and small electric sparks are the same thing. Discoveries were then continued to be made as time went on and more was understood regarding electricity. This means that Benjamin Franklin did not invent electricity or even really discover it. Over time, many discoveries were made, and many inventions too. This led to the creation of the electrostatic generator and the ability to understand and differentiate positive and negative currents. This also resulted in different materials being described as conductors or insulators.

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Energy Company NumbersView all posts by Energy Company Numbers
Energy Company Numbers is a telephone number directory service dedicated to helping UK consumers keep in touch with their energy suppliers.


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