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When Was Electricity Created ?

The truth about the discovery of electricity is a little more complex than a man flying his kite. In fact, it goes back more than two thousand years. We know that electricity has existed for thousands of years, because we know from texts that the Egyptians knew about the discharges of some electric fish. However, the constant production of electricity did not occur until much later. The Greeks around 600 BC discovered that rubbing the fur on amber (fossilized tree resin) caused attraction between the two, so the Greeks actually discovered what is known as static electricity.

In the 15th century people made devices that produced a lot of friction to generate sparks, and it was not until Volta developed the first battery in the 17th century that a reliable source of electricity was available. In addition, researchers and archaeologists in the 1930s discovered pots with copper sheets inside that they believe may have been ancient batteries intended to produce light in ancient Roman sites.

Similar devices were found in archaeological excavations near Baghdad, which means that the ancient Persians may also have used an early form of batteries. But by the 17th century, many discoveries related to electricity had been made, such as the invention of an early electrostatic generator, the differentiation between positive and negative currents, and the classification of materials as conductors or insulators.

In the early 17th century, English scientist William Gilbert established the science behind the study of electricity and magnetism. Inspired by Gilbert’s work, another Englishman, Sir Thomas Browne, conducted further research and wrote books on his findings.  Gilbert and Browne are credited with being the first scientists to use the term “electricity.

Scientists have found evidence that ancient peoples may have experimented with electricity as well. In 1936, a clay pot was discovered that suggests the first batteries may have been invented more than 2,000 years ago. The clay pot contained copper plates, tin alloy and an iron bar. It could have been used to create an electric current by filling it with an acidic solution, such as vinegar. No one knows what the device was used for, but it sheds some light on the fact that people may have been learning about electricity long before Benjamin Franklin.

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