Electromechanical Switches

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Electromechanical switches allow electric devices to be in different states. We commonly refer to these states as on or off. The last electromechanical switch you touched was probably something as simple as a light switch.

Electromechanical Switches in Electricity

The concept of electricity was discovered around 600 B.C. when Greeks found static electricity by rubbing amber against fur cloth. This is not unlike how kids find it when they rub a balloon on their head and stick it to a wall. The idea has been improved upon ever since. Creating large fields of static electricity with powerful magnets is, essentially, how we generate such power in modern times.

America's own Ben Franklin proved that lightning is comprised of electricity. He hooked an iron spike to a kite and held the kite string with an iron key. Fantastically, he was not killed in this process. It was the Italian Volta in 1792 who found that electricity can travel through metal. This led to the concept of wiring. Volts are named after this prestigious scientist.

Edison

Electromechanical switches are useful when sending electricity through wires. It was a long road to understand how electricity moves. It was a brilliant flash to learn how to stop and start it on command. Electromechanical switches are necessary to use electricity effectively. Since Edison primed up the light bulb in the 1800s, switches have become a necessity in all appliances that have come since.


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