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People all over the modern world rely on electricity without even thinking about where it comes from or what life would be like without it Messages are sent around the world at the speed of light making global trade and business faster and easier Machines powered by electricity make dangerous strenuous and boring jobs safer and less time consuming Electricity saves time and money and generally makes modern life easier Canby 7Until the late 1800s electricity and electric appliances were scarce People had to rely on sunlight during the day and gas lamps or candles at night to provide light Machines were operated by hand cranks steam engines animals or other non-efficient power sources Workers in factories powered by coal driven steam engines were in constant danger Businesses were inefficient factories and offices could only be operated during the day because there was not an efficient way to light them at night People could only communicate by letter which was only as fast as the horse or train which carried it Transportation and storage of food was difficult because ice was the only way to cool food Electricity was the key to solving many problems that people and industry faced Burchell 44Thomas Edison was one of the main players in the field of electricity during the late 1800s Edison had visions of making electricity cheap and available to everyone in the country He saw the potential for a very large market for electricity and electric appliances but at that time anyone who wanted to use electricity had to have his or her own generator These generators were expensive to purchase and to maintain and were not very reliable The key to making electricity available to a wide range of people was to build one large generator which could power many buildings at once Canby 72 Edison realized that a more efficient generator than what was currently in production would be needed to power a
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