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It was during the latter part of the 19th century that electric power entered everyday life. Before then, electricity was the subject of experimentation and theorizing, but had few practical applications. The widespread use of electricity was spurred by a combination of innovations—especially the discovery of a way to transmit power efficiently via overhead lines and the invention of the incandescent lamp, the telephone, and the electric telegraph. In the 1880s, commercial supplies of electricity began to be available in some cities, and within a few years, electric power was transforming many homes and factories.

Today, electricians are responsible for establishing and maintaining vital links between power-generating plants and the many electrical and electronic systems that shape our lives. Along with the electricians who install and repair electrical systems for buildings, the field includes people who work on a wide array of telecommunications equipment, industrial machine-tool controls, marine facilities like ships and off-shore drilling rigs, solor photovoltaic panels and solar farms, and many other kinds of sophisticated equipment that have been developed using modern technology.

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