History of Electricity

Lewis Howard Latimer (1843-1928), a pioneer in the development of the electric light bulb, was the only Black member of Thomas A. Edison's research team of noted scientists. While Edison invented the incandescent bulb, it was Latimer, a member of the Edison Pioneers, and former assistant to telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who developed and patented the process for manufacturing the carbon filaments.

Electricity-Historical Timeline

1752 Benjamin Franklin proposes the notion of positive and negative charge, conserving a balance except when a deficit is brought about by some means. His famous kite experiments, identifying lightning as a form of electrical discharge, take place in 1752.
1769 James Watt's first patent, in 1769, covered improvements on Newcomen's steam engine. The electrical unit, the watt, was named in his honor. Watt was the first person who coined the term horsepower.
1800 Alessandro Volta invents an electric battery, the first source of DC current.
1831 Michael Faraday experimentally characterizes magnetic induction. The most thorough of early electrical investigators, he formulates the quantitative laws of electolysis, the principles of electric motors and transformers, investigates diamagnetic materials, and posits a physical reality for the indirectly observed magnetic and electrical lines of force.
1879 Thomas Alva Edison invented the ightbulb, and houses, shops, factories, schools, streets, ballparks -- every place you could think of, indoors and out -- could at last be easily illuminated after dark.
1881 Louis Latimer and fellow inventor Joseph V. Nichols received a patent for their invention of the first incandescent light bulb with carbon filament. Prior to this breakthrough, filaments had been made from paper.
1885 During his development of the braking and signaling systems, in the mid 1880s, George Westinghouse became quite interested in electricity. He began pursuing the technology of alternating current and he associated with those who were developing AC devices.
1888 Heinrich Hertz discovers and measures the waves, radio waves, predicted by Faraday and Maxwell.
1888 Nikola Tesla invents the first practicable AC motor and polyphase power transmission system,. Westinghouse acquired exclusive rights to Nikola Tesla's patent for the polyphase system and lured Tesla to join the electric company and continue his work on the AC motor he had developed.
1888 Oliver B. Shallenberger (1860 -1898), a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Shallenberger left the Navy in 1884 to join the Westinghouse company. In 1888 he invented an induction meter for measuring alternating current, a critical element in the Westinghouse AC system.