Scientific experiment with electricity had been occurring for centuries, but we can conveniently date the modern era as beginning with Faraday in 1821. He discovered electromagnetic induction, and thus demonstrated how an electric current could be mechanically produced. It would be almost half a century before the mechanical problems in electricity generation could be worked out. Some motors (for transforming electrical to mechanical energy) were constructed in the 1830s, but they were so inefficient that electricity was almost solely used for communication for the next decade (there was also some electroplating of gold and silver jewellery and utensils). Maxwell in 1856 provided a mathematical interpretation of Faraday’s theory and this spurred further inquiry. Still, the development of dynamos (for translating mechanical to electrical energy) was hindered for decades by a lack of scientific understanding (Sharlin, 1963: 140–1). Armature design was improved, and electromagnets, which Faraday had used but not recognized the importance of, were applied.