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When was electricity discovered?

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Quick Answer

Electricity is a concept that was discovered in part by many experts and scientists adding to its development throughout history. In fact, electricity is actually a force of energy that occurs in nature; thus, electricity was not invented, but rather discovered.

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Full Answer

Although they didn't realize it, in 600BC the Greeks discovered static electricity by rubbing fur on amber, which is a fossilized tree resin, and observing the attraction created between the two materials. In the 1930s, archaeologists discovered artifacts believed to be the attempts at making a battery. By the 17th century, there were already several electrical inventions, including the early form of the electrostatic generator. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning bolts and little electric sparks were virtually the same things.

Following Ben Franklin, in 1800, an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta discovered that certain chemical reactions could produce electricity. He created a primitive electric battery capable of producing a steady flow of electricity. Having created the voltaic pile, Volta was the first person able to create a steady flow of electrical charge. When Michael Faraday created the electric dynamo, he opened the door for American inventor Thomas Edison and British scientist Joseph Swan, who each invented the incandescent filament light bulb around 1878 in their respective countries.

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