There’s a lot to unpack in the history of electricity, but there’s also a ton of information online to help. So where do we begin? It’s easy to think that Benjamin Franklin “invented” electricity in 1752 during his experiment when he, to put simply, attached a key to a kite so that it might be struck by lightening and then the electricity would be harnessed via a Leyden jar (https://www.fi.edu/benjamin-franklin/kite-key-experiment), but in fact electricity itself existed long before that day, and humans had been well aware of it for centuries prior. His discovery however did help illustrate that lightening did in fact harness the same type of electrical charges that we use to power our homes today.
Even in his experiment however, Franklin was already building upon existing principals and prior inventions within the field of electricity. Namely, those of William
Gilbert – whom had coined the phrase “electrica” in his book written in 1600 about electricity and magnetism, “De magnete, Magneticisique Corporibus” – or Otto von Guericke – whom was responsible for proving that a vacuum could exist– or Pieter van Musschenbroek and Ewald Christian Von Kleist – whom had invented the very Leyden jar that allowed Franklin to harness the electricity from his kite experiment (https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-electricity-1989860#:~:text=Ben%20Franklin%2C%20Henry%20Cavendish%2C%20and,first%20practical%20application%20of%20electricity).
After all of this progress however, humans were not quite able to turn on a light switch in their home to turn on their recessed lighting. It would take the delicate work of a few more people before we were ready to achieve that milestone. To be continued on tomorrow’s post – stay tuned!