From the Vault: Early Days Electric, Part 1


Depiction of Early 18th Century Electrical Experiments. © Leonard de Selva/Corbis

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The "invisible fire" steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the various electrical experiments, stunts, inventions, performances, innovations, occultisms and atrocities that transformed the tractable thunder. (Originally published Feb 9, 2016)

Related Content:

The Tractable Thunder: Early Days of Electricity, Part 2 (podcast)

How Electricity Works (HowStuffWorks)

Monster of the Week: Blanka the Street Fighter

Retrofuturist Flashback: Electric Spaceship, 1775

Retrofuturist Flashback: Future Cops, 1886

Retrofuturist Flashback: 19th Century Television

Stuff to Blow Your Kid's Mind: Static Electricity (video)

Topics in this Podcast: electricity, history, technology, From the Vault