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Electricity
Electricity



Electricity
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.75

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    hydroelectric, rushing, electronics, navigation, naturally, industry, transmission, generator, development, century, practical, electronic, mechanical, lines, ancient, power
     content words:    Ben Franklin, United States, Ways My Life Would Be Different Without Electricity


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Electricity
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Static electricity was known as far back as 500 BC. The Greeks knew that amber could be made to attract small objects, like bits of a feather, by rubbing it with a piece of fur. Ben Franklin proved that lightning was electricity in 1752. But nobody knows exactly how he did his experiment. Franklin was a careful man. He would have known that flying a kite in a thunderstorm could have deadly effects. It seems there must be a little more to the story than what we usually hear. Both the ancient Greeks and Ben Franklin discovered naturally occurring electricity. Their discoveries were amazing in their time. But this kind of electricity was not really useful yet. One of the first practical uses of electricity was in Dover, England, in 1858. Electricity was first used there to power the lamp in a lighthouse.
 
2     In the late 1800s and early 1900s, electricity developed into a major industry. Homes in the cities got electric service first. By the 1930s, about two-thirds of the homes in the United States had electric power. Farms, on the other hand, were among the last to be served. Only about 10 percent of farms had electric power in the 1930s.
 
3     Americans use electricity in their homes. It is also used to power industry and to provide communication and transportation. Home uses of electricity include heat and light, as well as power to run appliances and games. Factories use electricity to power the machines used to produce all kinds of goods. Communication systems that depend on electricity include telephone service, television and radio, and the Internet. There are streetcars and subways powered by electricity. Other types of transportation, such as planes and ships, depend on electricity for navigation equipment. A car's spark plugs use electricity.

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