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The History of Generators

In remote areas and in times of emergency, we rely on generators to keep vital systems running. But did you know that these vital powerhouses have been through quite the evolution since they were first introduced in the 1700s? In their most basic form, generators first started off as large steam-powered systems designed to create power in the mid-1700s. In 1831, the first electromagnetic generator, called the Faraday disk, was introduced by an English scientist named Michael Faraday. By the mid-1800s, small engines had evolved to run on gasoline and kerosene, and some generator models, like the Dynamo generator, were able to produce enough power for commercial applications. In the late 1800s, the work of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla gave us AC and DC generators. By the early 1900s, companies like Siemens, Westinghouse, Kohler, and General Electric were manufacturing generators. In general, the scale of early generators was large. But today, generators are available in a variety of sizes. Some models are small and portable while others are larger and designed to power an entire building, such as a hospital, during a power outage. Today’s generators may run on gas, natural gas, propane, or even utilize a hybrid fuel model.

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