Historical Energy Events in the US

  • Benjamin Franklin's Kite Experiment

    Benjamin Franklin performed his kite experiment proving lightning was electrical and leading the path to the invention of the lightning rod.
  • Electric Battery

    Alessandro Volta invented the first electric battery during the year 1800.
  • Internal Combustion Engine

    In 1824, Samuel Morey developed the first internal combustion engine in the United States.
  • Electric Motor

    Thomas Davenport invented the first American electric motor in 1834.
  • Lightbulb

    Thomas Edison developed the first long lasting and economically light bulb in 1879 and had it patented on November 4.
  • Edison's Electical Utility

    On September 4, 1882, the Edison Illuminating Company activated the first electrical utility in the United States at the Pearl Street Station, New York City.
  • Solar Cell

    In 1883, Charles Fritts invented the first solar cell in America; unfortunately, it only had around a 1% conversion effeciency.
  • Wind Turbine

    While an eletricicity generating wind turbine had already been invented, the one Charles F. Brush built in 1888 was the first in the world to be automatically operated.
  • Transistor

    The transistor, a piece necessary for many of today's electrical appliances, was invented in December 1947 by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley.
  • The Shippingport Reactor

    On March 18, 1958, the first nuclear power plant in the US was opened.