Skip to Main Content

Electrical Engineers


Electrical  engineering had its true beginnings in the 19th century. In 1800, Alexander Volta made a discovery that opened a door to the science of electricity—he found that electric current could be harnessed and made to flow. By the mid-1800s, the basic rules of electricity were established, and the first practical applications appeared. At that time, Michael Faraday discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction. Further discoveries followed. In 1837, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph; in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone; the incandescent lamp (the light bulb) was invented by Thomas Edison in 1878; and the first electric motor was invented by Nicholas Tesla in 1888 (Faraday had built a primitive model of one in 1821). These inventions required the further generation and harnessing of electricity, so efforts were concentrated on developing ways to produce more and more power and to create better equipment, such as motors and transformers.

Edison's invention led to a dependence on electricity for lighting our homes, work areas, and streets. He later created the phonograph and other electrical instruments, leading to the establishment of his General Electric Company. One of today's major telephone companies also had its beginnings during this time. Alexander Bell's invention led to the establishment of the Bell Telephone Company, which eventually became American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T). As of October 2020, the top electric power utilities companies in the U.S., in terms of holding the largest market share, were Exelon Corporation, Duke Energy Corporation, and NextEra Energy, according to the market research group IBISWorld. 


Related Professions
Featured Companies