Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,876 pages of information and 228,796 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Gilbert (1544-1603)

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William Gilbert (1544?-1603), natural philosopher

In recognition of his coining the word electricitas (derived from the Greek word for amber) and for expanding the range of electrics and electrostatic experiments, Gilbert has been called the "father of electricity". This designation misses the point that Gilbert's purpose was to distinguish magnetic attraction from its traditional occult partner by showing that electricity was a material property of many substances, whereas magnetism was immaterial and unique.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of William Gilbert, ODNB