Benjamin Franklin – First Person Credited for Discovering Electricity

As time flies, and generations come, Benjamin Franklin remains “The First Person Credited for Discovering Electricity” by demonstrating the contact between lightning and electricity. He was only accredited because electricity was not invented.

Study About Benjamin’s Kite Experiment. 

While Electricity is not Invented

Essentially, electricity is a type of energy that results from the presence and movement of electric charges, namely electrons. This energy, of course, fuels almost everything you possess, including your television, toothbrush, light bulbs, and even the fastest jet in the world.

So, who discovered electricity? This answer is really interesting.

Who Discovered Electricity?

In 1752, electricity was discovered by an American polymath Benjamin Franklin. During his experiment, he merged a cable to a kite in a thunderstorm; there he discovered that lightning is made of electricity.

People who Contributed to Electricity

There are several contributions to the studies of electricity. Here I will list contributors by century, they include;

Thales of Miletus 624 BCE to 546 BC

A Greek philosopher named Thales of Miletus discovered that friction amber (fossilised tree sap) through animal fur would attract objects like feathers. Little did he know, he observed the effects of magnetism and static electricity.

Thales of Miletus
Thales of Miletus

William Gilbert

In his short written book De Magnete, English scientist William Gilbert created the term “electric” in 1600, meaning “amber-like.”. It was later amended by Polymath Sir Thomas Browne slightly, modifying it to “Electricity” in 1646.

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

1602-1686 (Otto von Guericke) 

Between 1602 and 1686 while still constructing on William and Sir Thomas’s creation, a German scientist named Otto von Guericke succeeded in producing static electricity by revolving a ball of sulphur with a crank and using his free hand to rub the revolving sulphur.

Benjamin Franklin
Otto von Guericke

By Stephen Gray (1666–1736)

Between 1666 and 1736, it was discovered that Stephen Gray distinguished between electrical insulators and conductors, discovering that electricity would “flow along wires.”.

Benjamin Franklin
Stephen Gray

Further To: Ewald Georg von Kleist (1700–1748) and Pieter van Musschenbroek (1692–1761)

In the late 1745s, George von Kleist and Pieter van Musschenbroek, two scientists, invented the Leyden jar. It was a key invention in the understanding of electricity. The Leyden jar was a glass jar or vial coated with inside and outside layers of metal foil. This device stores electricity.

However, William Watson, Henry Cavendish, and Charles A Coulomb all make use of the Leyden jay as the key factor during their experiments with electricity, in few years before Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment.

Also Read: Ada Lovelace – The First Female Programmer In The World

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

In 1752, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that light was made of electricity by flying a kite during a rainstorm. He used a metal device linked to the kite’s string to conduct the energy from the lightning, which worked. 

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin’s Kite Experiment
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

The Advancement of Electricity in the field

1745-1827 – Alessandro Volta 

The first advanced method of using electricity was invented by an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta who built an “Electric battery” known as the “Voltaic Pile” in 1800. The device produced a stable and steady flow of electric current and was an important advancement in the field.

Michael Faraday 

The man who made revolutionary discoveries in the field of electromagnetism is called Michael Faraday between the years (1791-1867). He formulated the laws of electromagnetic initiation and discovered the generation of electricity through moving magnetic fields.

Michael’s work put down the basis for the improvement of electric generators and transformers.

Thomas Edison 

In the year (1847-1931) Thomas Edison, an American inventor is famous for his contributions to the practical application of electricity. He built the electric light bulb and established the first electric power distribution system in the world, which was crucial in bringing electricity into homes and businesses.

Thomas Edison

Source: ScienceFocus

Also Read: Ada Lovelace – The First Female Programmer In The World