Electric CarsThomas Davenport, a blacksmith from Brandon, Vermont, built an electric car in 1835, which was road worthy. Twelve years later Moses Farmer exhibited an electric-driven locomotive. In 1851, Charles Grafton Page drove an electric car on the tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, from Washington to Bladensburg, at the rate of nineteen miles an hour.
However, the cost of batteries was too great and the use of the electric motor in transportation not yet practical.
Electric GeneratorsThe principle behind the dynamo or electric generator, was discovered by Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry but the process of its development into a practical power generator consumed many years. Without a dynamo for the generation of power, the development of the electric motor was at a standstill, and electricity could not be widely used for transportation, manufacturing, or lighting, like it is used for today.
Street Lights - Charles F BrushThe arc light as a practical illuminating device was invented in 1878 by Charles Brush, a Ohio engineer and graduate of the University of Michigan. Others had attacked the problem of electric lighting, but a lack of suitable carbons stood in the way of their success. Charles Brush made several lamps light in series from one dynamo. The first Brush lights were used for street illumination in Cleveland, Ohio.
Other inventors improved the arc light, but there were drawbacks. For outdoor lighting and for large halls arc lights worked well, but arc lights could not be used in small rooms. Besides, they were in series, that is, the current passed through every lamp in turn, and an accident to one threw the whole series out of action. The whole problem of indoor lighting was to be solved by one of America's most famous inventors.