By Tim Lambert

Who Invented Electricity? No single person invented electricity. Many people made discoveries and inventions. However in 1819 a Dane, Hans Christian Oersted discovered that electric current in a wire caused a nearby compass needle to move. The Englishman Michael Faraday (1791-1867) showed that a magnet can produce electricity. In 1831 Faraday invented the dynamo. Eventually in the late 19th century men invented all kinds of electric appliances.

Electric Battery

Volta invented the electric battery in 1800.

Electric Blanket

The first practical electric blanket was invented in 1912 by Sidney I. Russell.

Electric Cooker

The first electrical cooker for sale was made in 1891.

Electric Clothes Dryer

The electric clothes dryer was invented in 1935 by a man named J. Ross Moore.

Electric Dishwasher

The electric dishwasher was invented by the Walker brothers in 1913.

Electric Fan

The electric fan was invented in 1882 by Dr Schuyler Wheeler.

Electric Fire

The first practical electric fire was made in 1912.


The flashlight was invented by David Misell in 1889

Electric Iron

The first electric iron was invented in 1882 by Henry Seeley.

Electric Kettle

The first electric kettle was made in 1891.

Electric Light

The electric light bulb was invented by Joseph Swan in 1878.

Electric Motor

As early as 1837 Thomas Davenport made an electric motor. However electricity was seldom used in industry until the end of the 19th century.

Electric Organ

Morse Robb invented the electric organ in 1928.

Electric Oven

The first electric oven went on sale in the USA in 1891. They went on sale in Britain in 1893. By 1939 there were about 1 1/2 million electric ovens in Britain and about 9 million gas ones.

Electric Razor

The first successful electric razor was invented in 1928 by Jacob Schick.

Electric Sewing Machine

The first electric sewing machine was sold in 1889.

Electric Toaster

The first electric toaster was invented in Britain in 1893 by Crompton and Co. The pop up toaster was patented in 1919 by Charles Strite.

Electric Toothbrush

The first cordless electric toothbrush was sold in 1961.


The escalator was patented in 1892 by Jesse W. Reno.

Electric Torch

The first electric torch was made in 1891.


No single person invented the refrigerator. However the refrigerator for use in your home was invented by Frank W Wolf in 1913.

Neon Lights

The first neon lights were made by Georges Claude in 1910.


Who invented radio is disputed but by 1901 Marconi was sending signals across the Atlantic.


The electric telegraph was invented in 1837 by Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone.


The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell.


Television was invented in 1925 by John Logie Baird. The BBC began broadcasting in 1936.

Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by Hubert Booth.

Washing Machine

The first electric washing machines were made in 1907.

A history of furniture

A history of toilets

A history of English homes


Last revised 2019