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One can prophesy with a Daniel's confidence that skilled electricians will settle the battles of the near future. But this is the least. In its effect upon war and peace, electricity offers still much greater and more wonderful possibilities. ~ Nikola Tesla

Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire. In addition, electricity encompasses less familiar concepts such as the electromagnetic field and electromagnetic induction.


  • And fire a mine in China, here
    With sympathetic gunpowder.
  • We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.
    • Thomas Edison, in a statement to a reporter during the first public demonstration of his incandescent (31 December 1879), as quoted in Chronology of Americans and the Environment (2011) by Chris J. Magoc, p. 46.
  • Is it a fact—or have I dreamt it—that by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence: or shall we say it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we dreamed it.
  • Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
    And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
  • Electric current, after passing into the earth travels to the diametrically opposite region of the same and rebounding from there, returns to its point of departure with virtually undiminished force. The outgoing and returning currents clash and form nodes and loops similar to those observable on a vibrating cord. To traverse the entire distance of about twenty-five thousand miles, equal to the circumference of the globe, the current requires a certain time interval, which I have approximately ascertained. In yielding this knowledge, nature has revealed one of its most precious secrets, of inestimable consequence to man. So astounding are the facts in this connection, that it would seem as though the Creator, himself, had electrically designed this planet just for the purpose of enabling us to achieve wonders which, before my discovery, could not have been conceived by the wildest imagination.
    • Nikola Tesla, in "The Transmission of Electrical Energy without wires as a means for furthering Peace" in Electrical World and Engineer (7 January 1905).

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 218-19.
  • Stretches, for leagues and leagues, the Wire,
    A hidden path for a Child of Fire—
    Over its silent spaces sent,
    Swifter than Ariel ever went,
    From continent to continent.
  • While Franklin's quiet memory climbs to heaven,
    Calming the lightning which he thence hath riven.
  • And stoic Franklin's energetic shade
    Robed in the lightnings which his hand allay'd.
  • To put a girdle round about the world.
  • A vast engine of wonderful delicacy and intricacy, a machine that is like the tools of the Titans put in your hands. This machinery, in its external fabric so massive and so exquisitely adjusted, and in its internal fabric making new categories of thought, new ways of thinking about life.
    • Charles Ferguson, address reported in Stevens' Indicator, Volume XXXIV. No. 1 (1917).
  • Notwithstanding my experiments with electricity the thunderbolt continues to fall under our noses and beards; and as for the tyrant, there are a million of us still engaged at snatching away his sceptre.
    • Benjamin Franklin, comment on Tubgot's inscription in a letter to Felix Nogaret, who translated the lines into French.
  • But matchless Franklin! What a few
    Can hope to rival such as you.
    Who seized from kings their sceptred pride
    And turned the lightning's darts aside.
  • A million hearts here wait our call,
    All naked to our distant speech—
    I wish that I could ring them all
    And have some welcome news for each.
  • An ideal's love-fraught, imperious call
    That bids the spheres become articulate.
  • This is a marvel of the universe:
    To fling a thought across a stretch of sky—
    Some weighty message, or a yearning cry,
    It matters not; the elements rehearse
    Man's urgent utterance, and his words traverse
    The spacious heav'ns like homing birds that fly
    Unswervingly, until, upreached on high,
    A quickened hand plucks off the message terse.
  • Eripuit cælo fulmen, mox sceptra tyrannis.
    • He snatched the thunderbolt from heaven, the sceptre from tyrants.
    • Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune, inscription for the Houdon bust of Benjamin Franklin. See Condorcet, Life of Turgot, p. 200. Ed. 1786. Eripuit fulmenque Jovi, Phœboque sagittas. Modified from Anti-Lucretius. I. 5. 96, by Cardinal ee Polignac. Eripuit Jovi fulmen viresque tonandi. Marcus Manlius, Astronomica, I, 104. Line claimed by Frederick von der Trenck asserted at his trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal of Paris (July 9, 1794). See Gartenlaube, Last Hours of Baron Trenck.

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External links[edit]

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