How did electricity impact society?


Quick Answer

According to the National Museum of American History, electricity changed society by providing power for labor-saving devices both in the home and on the job. It also allowed for reliable lighting to reduce human dependence on the traditional sunrise-to-sunset activity schedule.

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Full Answer

Electricity was a great boon for society in many ways. The availability of electric power led to the development of electric tools in the workplace, which could be smaller, more reliable, safer and quieter than their earlier steam-driven counterparts. In the home, electric power provided heat to make cooking easier, and electric appliances proved to be time-savers throughout the house. Vacuum cleaners, toasters, dishwashers and other appliances all used electricity to improve the domestic household by reducing physical labor, while electric refrigeration increased food safety.

Electric lights were a vast improvement over the gas lamps and candles of previous years, turning night-time lighting from a flickering, dim source into solid illumination that could rival sunlight in intensity. Electricity even sparked a revolution in architecture, since electric pumps and elevators could support taller buildings, and electric lights removed the need for large windows for interior illumination. Finally, electricity was necessary for the great communication advances of the time, from telegraphs and telephones to radio and television, inventions that reshaped society by tying it together in an unprecedented manner.

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