According to HowStuffWorks, the invention of the first electrical circuit is attributed to Alessandro Volta in 1800. Volta invented the battery, which allowed for the continuous electrical current needed to power circuits. The first practical use for electrical circuits was to provide electrical lighting.
Volta's first electrical circuits used a battery and electrodes that were placed underwater. The resulting currents created hydrogen and oxygen. Later, Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb and developed a power generator and distribution system using electrical circuits to allow the widespread use of electric lighting. The Pearl Street Station in Manhattan was the first American electric power distribution center.