In 1775, Italian scientist Alessandro Volta devised the electrophorus, a device that produced a static electric charge and in 1800 he developed the voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery. Building on these electrical discoveries, Sir Humphry Davy found that bright sparks were given off when the voltaic pile was discharged and a specially bright spark could be obtained by using well-burnt charcoal as electrodes.
The most difficult problems in electric lighting have been:
(1). To provide an efficient and economical means of converting mechanical power into electric energy, that is, a good dynamo-electric machine.
(2). To devise a generator able to evolve an electric current capable of subdivision, to
supply a series of lamps in one circuit.