IN CONTEXT

KEY FIGURE

Werner von Siemens (1816–92)

BEFORE

2nd century BCE The first water wheels mark a labor-saving turning point in the history of technology.

1839 French physicist Edmond Becquerel creates the first photovoltaic cell, using light to produce a weak voltage.

1873 French inventor Augustin Mouchot warns that fossil fuels will run out in the future.

1879 The first hydroelectric power plant is built at Niagara Falls in the United States.

AFTER

1951 Construction of the first grid-connected nuclear power plant begins at Obninsk in the USSR. It produced electricity from 1954 to 1959.

1954 Bell Laboratories in the US develop the first ...

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