The 20th Century- Electricity’s Golden Age

Electricity is now an inevitable part of life. You probably don’t even realize how much you use it. But think about it, you wake up in the morning, switch on the light (instead of putting oil in a lamp, as you would’ve done 150 years ago), turn on the faucet (instead of fetching water from a well as you would’ve done pre-20th century), turn on the shower (instead of heating individual pails of water for your weekly bath as you would’ve done pre-turn of the 19th to 20th century), make some breakfast using a microwave or some other cooking apparatus that wasn’t present before the golden age of electricity.

So when exactly was the golden age of electricity and how did it impact our modern lives? The golden age of electricity is usually considered the turn of the 20th century as so many inventions were being innovated to improve people’s everyday lives, inventions that utilized electricity. However, the origins of electricity go a little bit farther back. The roots of electricity begin with Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment. In 1752, Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm to prove that lightning was electrical. Throughout the 19th century, many inventors tried to find a way to make this electrical power transform into light. Finally, in 1879, someone was successful. This someone was Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. In the late part of the 19th century, electrical stations were beginning to be set up according to Edison’s vision. These stations could power entire blocks and neighborhoods! However, the innovation did not stop there. The turn of the century brought about a lot of technological improvements and introduces us to the golden age of electricity.

The early twentieth century featured rapid technological advancements that can only be compared to the growth of the internet in recent years. During this time, electricity transformed from an experiment that manifested on a few street blocks to a commodity that most people had in their homes. Gone were the days of the oil lamps and now in their place, were electrical light bulbs that could easily switched on and off. But light bulbs were not the only new invention that people were beginning to implement in their home lives. Showers, toasters, vacuums and radios were also new twentieth century innovations that made life easier and more fun and exciting. Instead of heating up pails of water, people could take quick, indoor showers and subsequently, a spike in cleanliness and hygiene was achieved. Vacuums and toasters helped household chores and activities get done quicker and more effectively (i.e. heating bread or other grain items and cleaning carpeted surfaces). Household radios also ushered in a new wave of social media, on an often nightly basis, families would gather around their personal radio to listen to different entertainment/news programs. But the golden age of electricity extended far beyond the household.

The golden age of electricity led to lots of subsequent creativity and innovations that impacted all parts of life. This age led to the first cars (a.k.a. Model T’s), movies, footballs, tanks, cameras and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. These inventions impacted transportation, entertainment, sports, war, art and science, respectively. The innovation of this time period is often linked with the artistic renaissance of the 1920’s. Electricity is now more ubiquitous and less novel, but its still inevitable and you want to make sure you’re covered. For the best results, look no further than Union Atlantic Electricity.

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