The first spark: The discovery of electricity 

by | Jul 15, 2020

Electricity. Something that is vital to our work and your daily life. But who discovered it, what is its history? Read on to find out more.

The Greeks were the first to discover static electricity also known as an electrical charge, in 600 BC. Although they did not outrightly know that they had discovered electricity, they observed that rubbing fossilised tree resin or Amber with animal fur attracted dried grass.

Over 2000 years later, near 1600 a day in English physicist named William Gilbert wrote about the attractive nature of Amber. A few years later, Thomas Browne wrote many books on physics, coining the word electricity to describe his research based upon Gilbert’s findings. Other individuals who studied Gilbert’s work included Benjamin Franklin, who was famous for his experiments with electricity, however, despite popular belief Franklin did not discover electricity.

Benjamin Franklin’s most famous experiment with the kite key and storm proved that lightning and tiny electric sparks were in fact the same thing!

The first man to discover a steady flow of electrical charge was Alessandro Volta. Volta revolutionised what we knew as electricity and we have reaped the benefits ever since!

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