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The following timeline tables list the discoveries and inventions in the history of "electrical and "electronic engineering.[1][2]


History of discoveries timeline[edit]

Year Event
600 B.C. "Thales of "Miletus discovered static electricity by rubbing fur on substances such as "amber
1600 English scientist "William Gilbert coined the word electricus after careful experiments.
1705 English scientist "Francis Hauksbee made a glass ball that glowed when spun and rubbed with the hand
1720 English scientist "Stephen Gray discovered insulators and conductors
1745 German physicist "Ewald Georg von Kleist and Dutch scientist "Pieter van Musschenbroek invented "Leyden jars
1752 American scientist "Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning was electrical by flying a kite, and explained how "Leyden jars work
1780 Italian scientist "Luigi Galvani discovered the "Galvanic action in living tissue
1783 French physicist "Charles-Augustin de Coulomb formulated "Coulomb's law
1785 French mathematician "Pierre-Simon Laplace developed the "Laplace transform to transform a linear differential equation to an algebraic equation. Later, his transform became a tool in circuit analysis.
1800 Italian physicist "Alessandro Volta invented the battery
1816 English inventor "Francis Ronalds built the first working "electric telegraph
1820 Danish physicist "Hans Christian Ørsted accidentally discovered that an electric field creates a magnetic field
1820 One week after Ørsted's discovery, French physicist "André-Marie Ampère published his law. He also proposed "right-hand screw rule
1821 German scientist "Thomas Johann Seebeck discovered "thermoelectricity
1825 English physicist "William Sturgeon developed the first "electromagnet
1827 German physicist "Georg Ohm introduced the concept of "electrical resistance
1831 English physicist "Michael Faraday published the "law of induction (Joseph Henry developed the same law independently)
1831 American scientist "Joseph Henry in United States developed a prototype "DC motor
1832 French instrument maker "Hippolyte Pixii in France developed a prototype "DC generator
1833 Michael Faraday developed laws of "electrolysis
1833 Michael Faraday invented "thermistor
1833 English "Samuel Hunter Christie invented "Wheatstone bridge (It is named after "Charles Wheatstone who popularized it)
1836 Irish priest (and later scientist) "Nicholas Callan invented "transformer in Ireland
1837 English scientist "Edward Davy invented the "electric relay
1839 French scientist "Edmond Becquerel discovered the "Photovoltaic Effect
1844 American inventor "Samuel Morse developed telegraphy and the Morse code
1845 German physicist "Gustav Kirchhoff developed two laws now known as Kirchhoff's Circuit laws
1850 Belgian engineer "Floris Nollet invented (and patented) a practical AC generator
1855 First utilization of AC (in electrotherapy) by French neurologist "Guillaume Duchenne
1856 Belgian engineer "Charles Bourseul proposed "telephony
1856 First electrically powered light house in England
1860 German scientist "Johann Philipp Reis invented "Microphone
1862 Scottish physicist "James Clerk Maxwell published four equations bearing his name
1866 "Transatlantic telegraph cable
1873 Belgian engineer "Zenobe Gramme who developed DC generator accidentally discovered that a DC generator also works as a DC motor during an exhibit in Vienna.
1876 Russian engineer "Pavel Yablochkov invented electric carbon "arc lamp
1876 Scottish inventor "Alexander Graham Bell invented telephone
1877 First street lighting in Paris, France
1877 American inventor "Thomas Alva Edison invented "phonograph
1877 German industrialist "Werner von Siemens developed primitive "loud speaker
1878 First hydroelectric plant in Cragside, England
1878 English engineer "Joseph Swan invented "Incandescent light bulb
1879 American physicist "Edwin Herbert Hall discovered "Hall Effect
1879 Thomas Alva Edison introduced a long lasting filament for the incandescent lamp.
1880 French physicists "Pierre Curie and "Jacques Curie discovered "Piezoelectricity
1882 First thermal power stations in London and New York
1883 English physicist "J J Thomson invented "waveguides
1887 German American inventor "Emile Berliner invented "gramophone record
1888 German physicist "Heinrich Hertz proved that electro magnetic waves travel over some distance. (First indication of radio communication)
1888 Italian physicist and electrical engineer "Galileo Ferraris publishes a paper on the "induction motor and Serbian-American engineer "Nikola Tesla gets a US patent on the same device[3][4]
1890 Thomas Alva Edison invents the "fuse
1893 During the Fourth International Conference of Electricians in Chicago electrical units were defined
1894 Russian physicist "Alexander Stepanovich Popov finds a use for radio waves, building a "radio receiver that can detect lightning strikes
1896 First successful intercontinental telegram
1897 German inventor "Karl Ferdinand Braun invented "cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO)
1900 Italian inventor "Guglielmo Marconi builds first "radio communication system, based on "radiotelegraphy
1901 First transatlantic radio transmission by Guglielmo Marconi
1901 American engineer "Peter Cooper Hewitt invented "Fluorescent lamp
1904 English engineer "John Ambrose Fleming invented "diode
1906 American inventor "Lee de Forest invented "triode
1908 Scottish engineer "Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton, laid the principles of "Television.
1911 Dutch physicist "Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered "Superconductivity
1912 American engineer "Edwin Howard Armstrong developed "Electronic oscillator
1915 French physicist "Paul Langevin and Russian engineer Constantin Chilowsky invented sonar
1917 American engineer "Alexander M. Nicholson invented "crystal oscillator
1918 French physicist "Henri Abraham and "Eugene Bloch invented "multivibrator
1919 Edwin Howard Armstrong developed "standard AM radio receiver
1921 "Metre Convention was extended to include the electrical units
1921 "Edith Clarke invents the "Clarke calculator", a "graphical calculator for solving line equations involving hyperbolic function, allowing electrical engineers to simplify calculations for "inductance and "capacity in "power transmission lines[5]
1925 Austrian American engineer "Julius Edgar Lilienfeld patented the first FET (which became popular much later)
1926 "Yagi-Uda antenna was developed by the "Japanese engineers "Hidetsugu Yagi and "Shintaro Uda
1927 American engineer "Harold Stephen Black invented "negative feedback amplifier
1927 German Physicist Max Dieckmann invented "Video camera tube
1928 First experimental "Television broadcast in the US.
1929 First public TV broadcast in Germany
1931 First "wind energy plant in the Soviet Union
1936 Dudley E. Foster and "Stuart William Seeley developed "FM detector circuit.
1936 Austrian engineer "Paul Eisler invented "Printed circuit board
1936 Scottish Scientist "Robert Watson-Watt developed the "Radar concept which was proposed earlier.
1938 Russian American engineer "Vladimir K. Zworykin developed "Iconoscope
1939 Edwin Howard Armstrong developed FM radio receiver
1939 "Russell and Sigurd Varian developed the first "Klystron tube in the US.
1941 German engineer "Konrad Zuse developed the first programmable "computer in Berlin
1944 Scottish Engineer "John Logie Baird developed the first "color picture tube
1945 "Transatlantic telephone cable
1947 American engineers "John Bardeen and "Walter Houser Brattain together with their group leader "William Shockley invented transistor.
1948 Hungarian-British physicist "Dennis Gabor invented "Holography
1950 French physicist "Alfred Kastler invented "MASER
1951 First "nuclear power plant in the US
1953 First fully transistorized computer in the US
1958 American engineer "Jack Kilby invented the "integrated circuit (IC)
1960 American engineer "Theodore Harold Maiman invented the "LASER
1962 "Nick Holonyak Jr. invented the "LED
1963 First home "Videocassette recorder (VCR)
1963 "Electronic calculator
2007 Company "Apple Inc. released the "iPhone.
2008 American scientist "Richard Stanley Williams invented "memristor which was proposed by "Leon O. Chua in 1971

History of associated inventions timeline[edit]

Brief History of Electronics Timeline
Date Invention/Discovery Inventor(s)
1808 "Atomic theory Dalton
1878 "Cathode rays Crookes
1895 "X-rays Roentgen
1900 "Old quantum theory Planck
1905 "Theory of relativity Einstein
1918 "Atomic transmutation Rutherford
1932 "Neutron Chadwick
1932 "Particle accelerator Crockcroft and Walton
1935 "Scanning electron microscope Knoll
1937 "Xerography Carlson
1937 "Oscillograph Van Ardenne, Dowling, and Bullen
1950 "Modem MIT and Bell Labs
1950 "Karnaugh mapping technique (digital logic) Karnaugh
1952 Digital "voltmeter Kay
1954 Solar battery Chapin, Fuller, and Pearson
1956 "Transatlantic telephone cable UK and U.S.
1957 "Sputnik I satellite Soviet Union
1957 "Nuclear Missile Kurchatov / Soviet Union
1957 "FORTRAN programming language Watson Scientific
1959 First one-piece plain paper "photocopier ("Xerox 914) "Xerox
1959 "Veroboard ("Stripboard) Terry Fitzpatrick
1961 "Electronic clock Vogel and Cie, patented by Alexander Bain, Scottish clockmaker in 1840.
1963 First commercially successful "audio compact cassette "Philips Corporation
1964 "BASIC programming language Kemeny and Kurtz
1964 "Liquid-crystal display "George H. Heilmeier
1966 "Optical fiber communications Kao and Hockham
late 1960s First "digital fax machine "Dacom
1969 "UNIX operating system AT&T's Bell Labs
1970 First "microprocessor ("4004, 60,000 oper/s) Intel
1970 First commercially available "DRAM memory IBM
1971 "EPROM N/A
1971 "PASCAL programming language Wirth
1971 First "microcomputer-on-a-chip "Texas Instruments
1971 "Laser printer "Xerox
1972 "8008 processor (200 kHz, 16 kB) "Intel
1972 First programmable "word processor Automatic Electronic Systems
1972 5¼-inch diskette N/A
1972 First modern "ATM machine (IBM 2984) "IBM
1973 "Josephson junction "IBM
1973 "Tunable continuous-wave laser "Bell Labs
1973 "Ethernet Metcalfe
1973 "Mobile phone "John F. Mitchell and Dr. "Martin Cooper of "Motorola
1974 "C (programming language) "Kernighan, "Ritchie
1974 "Programmable pocket calculator "Hewlett-Packard
1975 "BASIC for personal computers "Allen
1975 First personal computer ("Altair 8800) Roberts
1975 "Digital camera "Steven Sasson of "Eastman Kodak
1975 "Integrated optical circuits Reinhart and Logan
1975 Omni-font "optical character recognition system "Nuance Communications
1975 "CCD flatbed scanner "Kurzweil Computer Products
1975 Text-to-speech synthesis "Kurzweil Computer Products
1975 First commercial "reading machine for the blind (Kurzweil Reading Machine) "Kurzweil Computer Products
1976 "Apple I computer "Wozniak, "Jobs
1977 Launch of the ""1977 trinity computers" expanding "home computing, the "Apple II, "Commodore PET and the "TRS-80 Apple, Tandy Corporation, Commodore Business Machines
1977 First "handheld electronic game ("Auto Race) "Mattel
1978 "WordPerfect 1.0 Satellite Software
1980 3½-inch floppy (2-sided, 875 kB) N/A
1980 "VIC-20 Commodore Business Machines
1981 "IBM Personal Computer (8088 processor) "IBM
1981 "MS-DOS 1.0 "Microsoft
1981 "Wet" "solar cell "Bayer AG
1982 "Commodore 64 Commodore Business Machines
1982 First commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition "Kurzweil Applied Intelligence and Dragon Systems
1983 "Satellite television U.S. Satellite Communications, Inc.
1983 First built-in "hard drive ("IBM PC XT) "IBM
1983 "C++ (programming language) Stroostrup
1984 "Macintosh computer (introduced) Apple Computer
1984 "CD-ROM player for personal computers Philips
1984 First "music synthesizer ("Kurzweil K250) capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments "Kurzweil Music Systems
1984 "Amiga computer (introduced) Commodore
1985 300,000 simultaneous telephone conversations over single "optical fiber AT&T, Bell Labs
1987 Warmer "superconductivity Karl Alex Mueller
1987 "80386 microprocessor (25 MHz) "Intel
1989 First commercial handheld "GPS receiver (Magellan NAV 1000) "Magellan Navigation Inc.
1989 "Silicon-germanium transistors IBM fellow Bernie Meyerson
1990 "486 microprocessor (33 MHz) "Intel
1993 Weather Control Device / "HAARP U.S.
1994 "Pentium processor, "P5-based (60/90 MHz, 166.2 MIPS) Intel
1994 "Bluetooth "Ericsson
1994 First "DVD player ever made Tatung Company
1996 "Alpha 21164 processor (550 MHz) Digital Equipment
1996 "P2SC processor (15 million transistors) "IBM

Consumer Electronics[edit]

1843-1923: From electromechanics to electronics[edit]

"Cinématographe camera by the Lumière brothers in 1895 (ref 86.5822) at the French Museum of Photography in Bièvres, Essonne, France

1924-1959: From cathode ray tube to stereo audio and TV[edit]

Daylygraph wire recorder

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Isaac Asimov:Biographical Encyclopedia of science and Engineering, London, 1975 "ISBN "0-330-24323-3
  2. ^ Elektrik Mühendisliği, s.259-260, Kemal İnan pp 245-263
  3. ^ Fritz E. Froehlich, Allen Kent, The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications: Volume 17, page 36. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  4. ^ The Electrical Engineer. (1888). London: Biggs & Co. Pg., 239. [cf., "[...] new application of the alternating current in the production of rotary motion was made known almost simultaneously by two experimenters, Nikola Tesla and Galileo Ferraris, and the subject has attracted general attention from the fact that no commutator or connection of any kind with the armature was required."]
  5. ^ Lott, Melissa C. "The Engineer Who Foreshadowed the Smart Grid--in 1921". Plugged In. Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
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