First City To Have Electricity In The World

On March 31, 1880, the city of Wabash, Indiana made history by becoming the “First Electrically Lighted City in the World.” This momentous occasion was made possible by inventor Charles Francis Brush, whose revolutionary arc light technology illuminated the entire city with just over 100 Brush Lights. To this day, Wabash remains proud of its status as the first city in the world to have electricity, and one of the original Brush Lights can even be seen on display at the Wabash County Courthouse.

How It All Began

It all started with a man named Joseph Henry. In 1831, Henry designed and built the first electromagnetic motor, which paved the way for further development of electric motors and generators. Then, in 1873, French electrical engineer Zénobe Gramme invented the first dynamo, or direct current generator. A few years later, English inventor Michael Faraday discovered that when a conductor is moved through a magnetic field, an electric current is produced. Armed with this knowledge, American inventor Thomas Edison developed the first practical incandescent light bulb in 1879.

But while Edison’s light bulb was certainly an impressive achievement, it was not enough to light an entire city. For that task, a more powerful light source was needed—enter Charles Francis Brush. In 1880, Brush debuted his invention: the arc light. Arc lights work by producing an electric arc between two carbon rods that are separated by a small gap. When this arc is struck, it emits a bright light that is much more powerful than an incandescent light bulb. Using his arc lights, Brush was able to illuminate the entire city of Wabash with just over 100 lights.

A Lasting Legacy

Since becoming the first electrically lit city in 1880, Wabash has continued to embrace its status as a pioneer in electric lighting technology. In 2012, for example, the city installed over 1,000 LED streetlights as part of a initiative to reduce energy consumption and save money on utility costs. And today, visitors to Wabash can see one of the original Brush Lights on display at the Wabash County Courthouse. So whether you’re interested in seeing a piece of history or taking advantage of cutting-edge energy-saving technology, Wabash has something to offer everyone.

Background on the history of electricity

Background on the history of electricity
Background on the history of electricity

Electricity is so important to modern life that it’s hard to imagine what it would be like without it.

But in the big picture, electricity as we know it today is still in its early stages. Even though people have known about electricity for at least a couple of thousand years, we have only been able to use it as a source of energy and power our homes and businesses in the last century or so.

Where everything began

  1. People knew a long time ago, before they knew what electricity was, that some types of fish could give you an electric shock. The electric catfish was called the “Thunderer of the Nile” in Egyptian texts from 2750 B.C.
  2. 500 B.C. : Greek mathematician Thales of Miletus found static electricity by rubbing fur on amber, which made feathers and other light objects stick to it.
  3. 500 B.C. to 1600: For a while, we didn’t know much about electricity, but it was still an interesting topic for people to think about.
  4. In 1752, one of the most famous scientific discoveries in history was made as people tried to understand and control electricity. Benjamin Franklin, a famous scientist and one of America’s founding fathers, wanted to show that electricity and lightning were the same thing. He did this by tying a key to a kite string and flying the kite during a storm. People say that the kite picked up some of the storm’s electrical charge, which caused sparks to jump from the key to his hand and prove that lightning was electrical.
  5. Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist and the person whose name the word “volt” comes from, made the first electric battery in 1800.
  6. Michael Faraday, an English scientist, made the electric motor in 1821.
  7. Thomas Edison built the first coal-fired public power station in London in 1882. Later that same year, he built the Pearl Street Station power plant in New York.

On the other hand, in New Zealand

  1. In 1888, the Reefton Power Station was built to give electricity to the thriving gold mining town of Reefton on the West Coast. It was the first power station in the Southern Hemisphere to give electricity to a city.
  2. From 1912 to 1920, New Zealand put into service dozens of small power plants. By 1920, there were 55 public power plants that could make a total of 45 megawatts of electricity. (For context, New Zealand can produce well over 9,000 megawatts of power right now.)
  3. In November 1921, New Zealand’s first radio broadcast came from Dunedin. This was made possible by the growing number of homes with electricity.
  4. 1965: Work was done on the Cook Strait cable. Power plants on the South Island sent electricity to the North Island through the cable, which was more than 600 kilometers long. It was the longest cable of its kind in the world at the time.
  5. In 1987, the government turned the Electricity Department into the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, which is a state-owned business that is in charge of making power and selling it to retail organizations.
  6. In 1998, all four cables that brought power to the city center of Auckland broke. This left the city center without power for more than a month.
  7. From 2000 until now, New Zealand has been moving toward energy sources that don’t use fossil fuels. More than 82% of our electricity comes from renewable sources like water, gas, wind, and geothermal heat. By 2050, this number is expected to reach 95%.

How Baghdad became the first city to have electricity in the world

How Baghdad became the first city to have electricity in the world
How Baghdad became the first city to have electricity in the world

In the 8th century, when the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mansur was in charge, Baghdad was the first city in the world to have electricity. Baghdad was already a wealthy and diverse city, but it got even better when Al-Mansur was in charge.

He had a lot of big public projects built, like the House of Wisdom, which was a library and school for scholars that attracted people from all over the world.

He made Baghdad his new capital in 762, and four years later he had a palace built on the banks of the Tigris River. Here is where he saw a city that was lit by electricity.

He told his scholars to make this dream come true, and they did so in just a few years. Using pulleys and cables, the palace was wired for electricity, and Baghdad became known as the “City of Light.” Some of the oldest electrical infrastructure in the world is still in Baghdad.

Baghdad has a unique place in history as the first city in the world to have electricity. This is because Al-Mansur was a leader with a clear vision.

The benefits of having electricity and how it has changed our lives

Electricity has changed many things about our lives. It is used to light rooms, run fans, and power things like electric stoves, air conditioners, and more. All of these make people feel better. Electricity is used to power the big machines in factories. Electricity is used to make important things like food, clothing, paper, and many other things.

Getting electricity has also given businesses and industry new ways to do things. For instance, you couldn’t use the internet without electricity. Because of this, a whole new economy based on information and knowledge has grown up.

In short, electricity has had and will continue to have a big effect on our lives. It is an important part of modern life, and we can’t imagine not having it.

What life was like without electricity and how people coped

Most of the time in human history, electricity was only found in nature. Fire was used for light and heat, and waterwheels were used to make power. Rivers turned waterwheels, which were used to grind grain and pump water. They were also used to power the looms that helped make cloth in mills.

In the 1800s, people started to use electricity more and more. People began to use it to light homes and run factories. Almost everything we do today needs electricity. We use it to run our businesses, power our homes, and even have fun. It’s hard to think about living without it.

But until a few hundred years ago, that’s how most people lived. How did they keep going? First of all, they didn’t have many of the things that make our lives easier now.

They didn’t have fridges or air conditioning, so they had to use salt or smoke to keep food fresh. They didn’t have a washing machine, so they had to wash their clothes by hand.

They also didn’t have TVs or computers, so they used books, music, and conversation to pass the time. People didn’t have electricity back then, but they still made it through.

The future of electricity and its impact on society

The future of electricity and its impact on society
The future of electricity and its impact on society

Electricity has been an important part of life for hundreds of years. It gives us power in our homes, businesses, and factories. It gives cities light and keeps us in touch with the rest of the world.

Electricity is safe, reliable, and doesn’t cost too much. But electricity is also one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases. As the world keeps trying to deal with the danger of climate change, the future of electricity is being looked at.

Some people think we should stop using fossil fuels and start using renewable sources of energy instead. Some people think that the answer is nuclear power.

No matter what the answer is, it is clear that people need to find a way to make electricity that doesn’t hurt the environment. The future of electricity is not clear, but it will have a big effect on society.



For nearly 140 years, Wabash has been known around the world as the “First Electrically Lighted City.” This distinction is thanks to inventor Charles Francis Brush and his revolutionary arc light technology, which illuminated the entire city with just over 100 lights. Today, one of those original lights can even be seen on display at the Wabash County Courthouse. So if you’re ever in need of some historical inspiration or simply want to see cutting-edge LED streetlights in action, be sure to pay a visit to beautiful Wabash—the first city in the world to have electricity!

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