Energy Timeline

  • Period: Jan 1, 1500 to

    Wind and Coal advancements

  • 1590sDutch Build Windmills for Multiple Uses

    1590sDutch Build Windmills for Multiple Uses
    There is no specific day or month that was recorded for this event. "The mill reached its greatest size and its most efficient form in the hands of the Dutch engineers toward the end of the sixteenth century... The Dutch provinces... developed the windmill to the fullest possible degree: it ground the grain produced on the rich meadows, it sawed the wood... and it ground the spices...
  • Coal Begins to Displace Use of Other Energies

    Coal Begins to Displace Use of Other Energies
    "The great shift in population and industry that took place in the eighteenth century was due to the introduction of coal as a source of mechanical power, to the use of new means of making that power effective - the steam engine - and to new methods of smelting and working up iron. Out of this coal and iron complex, a new civilization developed...
  • First Commercial Coal Production in US Begins in Richmond, Virginia

    First Commercial Coal Production in US Begins in Richmond, Virginia
    The first coal 'miners' in the American colonies were likely farmers who dug coal from beds exposed on the surface and sold it by the bushel. In 1748, the first commercial coal production began from mines around Richmond, Virginia. Coal was used to manufacture shot, shell, and other war material during the Revolutionary War.
  • Process of Electrolysis Discovered

    Process of Electrolysis Discovered
    "English scientists William Nicholson and Sir Anthony Carlisle discovered that applying electric current to water produced hydrogen and oxygen gases. This process was later termed 'electrolysis.'" The discovery of electrolysis was an important historical step in the development of hydrogen energy and the hydrogen fuel cell.
  • Period: to

    Electrical and Heat powered age

  • First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Developed to Generate Electricity

    First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Developed to Generate Electricity
    "William Robert Grove (1811 -1896), a Welsh lawyer turned scientist, won renown for his development of an improved wet-cell battery in 1838. The 'Grove cell,' as it came to be called, used a platinum electrode immersed in nitric acid and a zinc electrode in zinc sulfate to generate about 12 amps of current at about 1.8 volts...
  • First Solar Power System Developed in France to Produce Steam to Drive Machinery

    First Solar Power System Developed in France to Produce Steam to Drive Machinery
    Worried by the possibility of fossil fuels, such as coal, running out, Augustine Mouchot develops a solar powered steam generation system to drive industrial machinery.
  • First Electric Plant Built by Thomas Edison in New York

    First Electric Plant Built by Thomas Edison in New York
    "In New York he [Thomas Edison] built the first commercial electric utility near Wall Street... At 3pm on September 4, 1882, Edison threw the switch that would start up America's first power plant, serving a square-mile area that included some very wealthy and influential customers: J.P. Morgan, the Stock Exchange, and the nation's largest newspapers.
  • First Commercial Scale Hydroelectric Plant Goes into Operation in Appleton, Wisconsin

    First Commercial Scale Hydroelectric Plant Goes into Operation in Appleton, Wisconsin
    "It was on Saturday night, September 30, 1882, that one of the world's first hydro-electric central stations was placed in successful operation in Appleton, Wisconsin. As late as 1977, local enthusiasm identified the installation as the 'world's first hydro-electric central station.' This statement has since been corrected to read 'the first hydro-electric central station to serve a system of private and commercial customers in North America.'
  • Period: to

    Alternative oil and alchohol energy

  • The "Free Alcohol Bill" Is Signed to Promote the Use of Alcohol as an Alternative to Gasoline

    The "Free Alcohol Bill" Is Signed to Promote the Use of Alcohol as an Alternative to Gasoline
    "The President [Theodore Roosevelt] today signed the Denatured Alcohol bill [Free Alcohol Bill]. This measure provides that alcohol manufactured for use in the arts or industries shall be free from the internal revenue tax when so treated as to be made a poison and so unfit for drinking. It is designed to start a great industry that will furnish cheap fuel for many purposes for which gasoline is now used."
  • Hoover Dam, the World's Largest Hydroelectric Power Plant, Is Built

    Hoover Dam, the World's Largest Hydroelectric Power Plant, Is Built
    Hoover Dam is completed on the Colorado River in Arizona in 1935, four years after construction began in 1931. At the time of its completion, the Hoover Dam was the largest hydroelectric producer in the world. The dam remains the largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world until 1948.