The idea of electricity has been ingrained in human society for a long time. Texts dating from the 2700 BCE identify electric shocks from fish, which we now know as electric eels. At the time, people believed these shocks were magic or medicine, but humans had not yet discovered how it worked or how to use it.
It wasn't until 1600 that electricity first became something more than just a curiosity, or a sign from the gods. During this year, a scientist named William Gilbert wrote that he had been studying the idea of what is now known as static electricity, and he was the first to use the term electricity to describe the idea of these charges and shocks.
Over the next two centuries, several scientists continued to study the idea of electricity, including Benjamin Franklin. By June 1752, he is said to have attached a metal key onto a kite and flew the kite during a storm. During the storm, sparks jumped from the key to his hand, showing that lightning was electrical.
But, it wasn't until the 19th century that major advancements in electrical science were made. Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and several other scientists worked tirelessly to better understand how electricity worked and how to harness it for modern life.
Their combined research led to the first electronic device called the cat's whisker detector. This device was a radio receiver, but it used electrical current to help receive radio waves sent from far distances. It worked great and led to further interest and modernization in the field.
Today, electricity is used and studied in a multitude of ways, but the one people are most familiar with is the idea of electrical power. This works by an electrical generating creating electrical energy. Other ways to create electricity include via batteries, which combine chemicals to create electricity. Either way, once electricity is created via a generator or a battery, it is carried, usually through wires, to a place or object that can use the electricity. Most of the time this electricity travels to a central hub before being divided out among houses or businesses that can use it.
However, there has been a recent push by people across the world to provide sources of clean electricity, through the use of wind and/or solar power. These devices work by harnessing the power in wind and sunlight to create electrical energy that can then power homes and devices. Although this technology is new, it is powerful and will likely continue to be increasingly used across the world.