Famous Electricians in History

Electricity is so common today that we sometimes take for granted that it was made possible by electricians of past years. In this article we will review famous electricians from around the world and their contributions – by inventions or driving labor rights or other contributions to the role of an electrician today and their impact.


Famous Early Electricians

It is difficult to determine who the very first electrician was, as people were experimenting with electricity and creating devices that could harness it for years before anyone documented their work. However, some of the earliest famous electricians include:

  • Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), an Italian physicist who invented the battery in 1800
  • Michael Faraday (1791-1867), an English scientist who discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831
  • André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836), a French physicist who developed the theory of electrodynamics in 1820

All of these pioneers made incredible contributions to our understanding of how electricity works and laid the groundwork for many of the electrical devices and systems we use today.

An image of benjamin franklin with angels in the background and electricity flowing from his hand

Famous Electricians in America

There have been a number of famous electricians in America throughout history, including:

  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the Founding Fathers who is credited with discovering electricity as well as inventing the lightning rod and Franklin stove
  • Thomas Edison (1847-1931), an inventor who developed the light bulb and the first commercial electric power plant

Famous Electricians in Europe

European history is packed with famous electricians as well, including:

  • Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), a Serb inventor who developed the alternating current system we use today
  • George Stephenson (1781-1848), an English civil engineer considered to be the “father of railways” for his work on steam locomotives

Famous Electricians in Asia

Asia has also produced a number of famous electricians, including:

  • Liu Zhenying (1912-1998), a Chinese electrical engineer credited with developing the country’s first high voltage direct current power system
  • Saburo Matsumoto (1888-1968), a Japanese electrical engineer who invented the mercury arc rectifier, which is still used in some power supplies today

Famous Electricians in Africa

There are a number of famous electricians in Africa as well, including:

  • William Thomson (1824-1907), a Scottish engineer who developed the first practical incandescent light bulb
  • Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928), an African American inventor who held more than 20 patents, including one for the carbon filament light bulb
  • Olusegun Obasanjo (1937-), the Nigerian president who oversaw a massive expansion of electrical infrastructure in the country

Each of these electricians made significant contributions to the field of electricity and the role of electricians around the world. They have helped shape the way we use electricity today

Electricians Drive for Labor Rights

In addition to famous electricians who made incredible advancements in technology, there have also been famous electricians who fought for the rights of laborers. One of the most famous is Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), an English-born American cigar maker who became involved in union organizing. He was a founder and president of the American Federation of Labor and is considered to be one of the most important labor leaders in American history.

The Electrician Today

Today’s electrician has a much more varied role than those of years past. They are responsible for everything from installing electrical systems in new construction, to maintaining and repairing older ones, to working on complex industrial machinery. They leverage high tech tools such as underground utility locators to locate underground cables and wires, or electrical wiring in walls without damaging walls! The work can be challenging and dangerous, but it is also very rewarding. Electricians are a critical part of our modern society and we owe them a great debt for all they have done to make our lives easier.

What will electricians do in the future and how will their jobs change?

We can only speculate, but it is safe to say that they will continue to play a vital role in our society and we will be forever grateful for their contributions. Please consider reading our article on the history of electricity if you enjoyed this one!

Where do you think the role of the electrician is going? Please comment below!

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