One day, an inventor named Benjamin Franklin wanted to prove something to all the other scientists in his community. So he waited for a day that was dark and cloudy. He listened carefully for the rumble of thunder. He watched out the window to see the large sheets of lighting shoot across the sky.
Once he was sure the conditions were right he went into his invention room. He fetched his kite, a piece of string and a large key. Most people wouldn’t have wanted to go kite-flying in the rain but Benjamin Franklin was a very clever man and he had a plan.
He walked into the storm and began to fly his kite. The wind picked it up and it flew high into the clouds. Benjamin held onto the key which was tied to the wet string. Eventually a bolt of lightning hit the kite. The energy from the lightning traveled down through the string and into the key and Benjamin got a big shock!
Now, most people would be very upset if they had been struck by lightning. But not Benjamin Franklin. He was so excited. His theory was true. Lightning was electrical. Benjamin’s discovery was huge. It was the first step in the creation of electricity. After his experiment with the kite, Benjamin continued to think of a way that power supply could be harnessed and stored.
It took another 100 years before another very clever inventor called Thomas Edison came up with the light bulb. Which is arguably one of the best inventions ever created. Now people could use electricity to change the way in which they lived their lives.
I bet that you can’t imagine what life was like before we had electricity. It completely revolutionized everyday life. Before the 1880’s people had to use things like whale fat and candles and gas to see in the dark. There were no light bulbs or torches. In big castles, like in England they had special people who used to go around lighting all the candles just so they could see.
Could you imagine we didn’t have electricity nowadays? Without electricity we would be in big trouble. We’d have no power supply to our internet or to power our phone charger. Can you think what you would do without a refrigerator to keep your food fresh. Or how about boiling a kettle to make a cup of tea? Would you be okay showering with cold water only? Life is certainly a lot easier and a lot more convenient with electricity.
It’s quite amazing to think that someone actually invented electricity. You must have a really big brain to think of something so cool.
Be grateful next time you are busy plugging your phone or computer into its charger. Thanks to Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison for being such brave and fearless inventors. Otherwise we’d probably still be sitting in the dark.