How Did Electricity Change People’s Lives?

The most evident change in people’s lives that resulted from the harnessing of electricity is the ability to produce artificial light at night. Some other changes that resulted from humanity’s ability to harness electricity include advances in technology, health care, education, transportation, the dissemination of information and business.

Lighting, refrigeration and air conditioning are three things that most people in developed countries rely on in their daily lives that did not exist prior to electricity. Before refrigerators, people relied directly on farmers to provide dairy and butchers to provide meat, and farmers sometimes spent at least 10 hours a week hauling water from wells to their farms. Without electric lighting, only those who could afford gas lamps were able to be active at night. Without air conditioning, people living in hot climates or at hotter times of the year had to either cool themselves off by finding swimming holes or endure the heat. In addition, late 20th century technology, including cellphones and the Internet, were direct results of the development of electricity.

Although mechanized travel without animal power dates back to the early 19th century, according to, the invention of electricity made electric cars a possibility as early as the 1880s.