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When Was Electricity First Used in Homes? What You Need To Know

Incandescent light bulb

Most of us couldn’t imagine our life without electricity. We need it for almost every aspect of our lives, from powering our homes to charging our phones. However, there was a time in history when electricity was considered a luxury, and not everyone could have it in their home. Electricity became accessible in homes during the late 19th and early 20th century, making people’s lives much easier.

Since then, it has become one of the essential things in homes worldwide.

Keep reading to learn more about electricity, when it was first used in homes, and how developed electricity is today.

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Did Homes Have Lighting Before Electricity?

Homes had lighting before electricity, although it wasn’t the lighting we have today. Due to a lack of electricity, people in history relied on other ways to light their homes, including:

  • Candles: Using candles was one of the most widespread ways to provide lighting in homes before people started using electricity.
  • Gas lighting: Lighting the home on gas became popular in the 19th century, and it was widely used until people started using electricity.
  • Oil lamps: Many people in history also relied on oil lamps to light up their homes.

When Was Electricity First Used in Homes?

man holding table lamp
Image By: Andrey Zhar, Shutterstock

Electricity was first used in homes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exact years of electricity usage in homes vary based on the infrastructural development of electricity. Because of that, each country has a different year when electricity was first used in a home.

A list of years when electricity was used in homes in several countries:
  • USA: The first home in the USA that had a private electric system got it in 1878. This home belonged to one of the crucial electricity contributors, Thomas Edison. However, the usage of electricity in other homes in the USA took a bit more to develop, so it wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th century that electricity was widespread in US homes.
  • Canada: The first home in Canada that had a private electric system was the home of Henry Woodward. This home got its electricity in 1882, but electricity was still not that widespread.
  • United Kingdom: The United Kingdom was ahead of other countries when it came to public lighting systems because the first one was installed in London in 1807. However, the first home in London didn’t get electricity until 1881; that’s when the first private electric system was installed in the home of Frederick Swanwick.
  • Australia: The first private home electric system in Australia was installed in 1880.

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Final Thoughts

People lived without electricity in their homes until the late 19th/early 20th century. Once electricity officially “entered” homes throughout the world, it kept improving, leading to the electricity we currently use in our homes. There’s no denying that electricity in our homes has made our lives much richer and easier.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

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