EVOLUTION OF ELECTRICITY
Many inventions have taken several
centuries to develop into their modern forms and modern inventions are rarely the product
of a single inventor's efforts. Each of the inventions listed below were only one small
step on the road to the ultimate goal.
Electricity has fascinated human kind since our ancestors
first witnessed lightning. In ancient Greece, Thales observed that an
electric charge could be generated by rubbing amber, for which the Greek
word is electron.
The German physicist Otto von Guericke experimented with
generating electricity in 1650.
The English physicist Stephen Gray discovered electrical
conductivity in 1729.
proposes the notion of positive and negative charge, conserving a balance except when a
deficit is brought about by some means. His famous kite experiments, identifying lightning
as a form of electrical discharge, take place in 1752.
invents an electric battery, the first source of DC current.
||In 1827, using equipment of his own
creation, Georg Simon Ohm
determined that the current that flows through a wire is
proportional to its cross sectional area and inversely proportional
to its length or Ohm's law. These fundamental relationships are of
such great importance, that they represent the true beginning of
electrical circuit analysis
experimentally characterizes magnetic induction. The most thorough of early electrical
investigators, he formulates the quantitative laws of electolysis, the principles of
electric motors and transformers, investigates diamagnetic materials, and posits a
physical reality for the indirectly observed magnetic and electrical lines of force.
||On April 24, 1877
Charles F. Brush was
issued U.S. Patent No. 189,997 for his arc lighting system. There
were other arc lamps before Brush's that utilized electromagnets as
part of a regulation system but it was the combination of the
electromagnet with the ring clutch that made Brush's design superior
in regulating the arc.
||Thomas Alva Edison
invented the lightbulb, and houses, shops, factories, schools,
streets, ballparks -- every place you could think of, indoors and
out -- could at last be easily illuminated after dark.
||Louis Latimer and
fellow inventor Joseph V. Nichols received a patent for their invention of the first
incandescent light bulb with carbon filament. Prior to this breakthrough, filaments had
been made from paper.
During his development of the braking and signaling
systems, in the mid 1880s,
Westinghouse became quite interested in electricity. He began
pursuing the technology of alternating current and he associated
with those who were developing AC devices.
On March 20, 1886,
demonstrated a system of high voltage transmission via a "parallel connected
transformer." The device, combined with high-voltage transmission lines,
made it possible to spread electric service over a wide area and allowed
alternating current to be available at different voltages.
discovers and measures the waves, radio waves, predicted earlier by Faraday and Maxwell.
invents the first practicable AC motor and polyphase power transmission system,.
Westinghouse acquired exclusive
rights to Nikola Tesla's patent for the polyphase system and lured
Tesla to join the electric company and continue his work on the AC motor he
Oliver B. Shallenberger (1860 -1898), a
graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Shallenberger left the Navy in
1884 to join the Westinghouse company. In 1888 he invented an
induction meter for measuring alternating current, a critical
element in the Westinghouse AC system.
electrical engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, was an innovator in
electrification in both a technical and corporate sense. Thomson
acquired nearly 700 patents in his career, his major contributions
included (electrostatic motors, electrical meters, high-pressure
steam engines, dynamos, generators and, X-rays).
flashlight is a relatively simple device, its invention did not occur
until the late 19th century because it depended upon the earlier
invention of the electric battery and electric light bulb. Conrad Hubert
received a US patent in 1903, number 737,107 issued August 26, for a
flashlight with an on/off switch in the now familiar cylindrical casing
containing lamp and batteries.
TO LEARN MORE
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
That Shaped World History
by Bill Yenne, Morton, Dr. Grosser (Editor) / Paperback - 112 pages (1983) / Bluewood Books
This book contains inventions from all around the world from microchips to fire. This is a
really good book if you are going to do research on inventions.
The Electric Mirror on the Pharos Lighthouse and Other Ancient
by Larry Brian Radka / Paperback: 168 pages / The Einhorn
Press (April 15, 2006)
This book aims to prove—through a comprehensive layout of ancient
coins, artifacts, monuments, and literature—that the ancients used
electricity to light up their temples, tombs, lighthouses,
fortresses, palaces, cities and other edifices and critical areas.
Empires of Light : Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to
Electrify the World
by Jill Jones / Hardcover: 432 pages / Random House; (August 19, 2003)
The genius of such poet-scientists as Nikola Tesla depended on the more
finely tuned business skills of George Westinghouse and the towering
capital of J.P. Morgan to achieve actualization.
The Forces of
by Michael Faraday / Paperback - 88 pages (May 1993) / Prometheus Books
Certainly a true classic. This book will appeal to both the layman and the technically
Yourself Electricity and Electronics
by Stan Gibilisco / Paperback: 800 pages / McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics;3rd edition (August
Presented as a self-instructional guide for professionals, hobbyists, and technicians
desiring to competently enter the world of circuits (ac and dc), measuring devices,
resistors, cells and batteries, semiconductors, computers, and the Internet.
Electricity and Magnetism
by James Clerk Maxwell / Paperback 3rd edition / Dover Pubns
This volume covers magnetism and electromagnetism.
ON THE SCREEN:
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / Less than $25.00 /
Though the basic technology has remained constant for decades,
continual improvements and refinements have made them far more
efficient and powerful.
History of Westinghouse - An American Industrial Powerhouse
DVD / Unrated / A2ZCDS.com / Run Time: 70 / Flash
/ Full Screen / Original recording remastered
Westinghouse is still a household name – though many of us may be less than
familiar with its founder George Westinghouse, and the hard work and vision
that made his company a corporate legend. On this historic DVD is a solid
overview of vintage film clips shot at the height of the Westinghouse
ON THE WEB:
Consequences of Edison's Lamp
Over the course of the next half
century two especially significant social effects became clear. We
gained control over light in homes and offices, independent of the
time of day. And the electric light brought networks of wires into
homes and offices, making it relatively easy to add appliances and
other machines. From the Lighting Revolution at the Smithsonian.
A Brief History of Electricity
In the history of electricity, no single defining moment exists. The
way we produce, distribute, install, and use electricity and the
devices it powers is the culmination of nearly 300 years of research
and development. Article by Rosalie E. Leposky for ELECTRICAL
CONTRACTOR, January 2000.
Heinrich Hertz laid the ground work for the vacuum tube. He laid the foundation for
the future development of radio, telephone, telegraph, and even television. He was one of
the first people to demonstrate the existence of electric waves.
IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing
This is a program conducted by the IEEE History Committee through
the History Center to honor significant achievements in electrical,
electronic, and computer engineering. The program was founded in
1983 and to date has recognized over 50 major milestones.
In the 20th century, widespread electrification gave us power for
our cities, factories, farms, and homes - and forever changed our
lives. Chosen as the #1 greatest engineering achievement of the 20th
Century by the National Academy of Engineering.
Power Play is an interactive activity that helps users learn about
harnessing energy from different power sources. To build the
machine, users should click on one of the parts in the bottom screen
and then drag it into the upper screen. Each machine requires three
pieces. Once the machine works, users can click "Next" to go on to
the next challenge.
Electrical Energy and Circuit Design
Extensive listing of Web sites related to the study of electricity
and its pioneers.Presented by STC/MS™ is an inquiry-based middle
school science curriculum developed by the National Science
DID YOU KNOW?
electricity comes from the Latin term electricus, meaning to
"produce from amber by friction." This term has its roots in the
Greek term elektor, which means beaming sun. Without knowing
what it was, the effects of electricity have been observed in nature