When Michael Faraday (1791-1867) made the first electric generator and then the first electric motor, did he realize that his inventions would change the world? Without electric motors and generators, the world would be different than it is today. You wouldn't be able to use computers because they use motors for their drives and fans and draw electricity from power plants that use generators. Faraday was born in 1791 in Northern England and was one of 10 children of a working class family. He started his career in a bookstore, which was a great place for a boy seeking knowledge. Through reading, he became a student of the scientist Humphrey Davey, and then one of the world's best experimental scientists. Not only did he discover how to induce an electric current using magnetism (a generator) and how to use an electric current to convert it into physical motion (an engine), but Faraday - who had wide interests - also published a series of articles on liquefied gases., investigated the properties of steel, discovered chemical benzene, discovered the laws of electrolysis (the process of generating chemical changes in a material when a current is passed through it) and discovered that magnetism has the same nature as light. This latest discovery led him to believe that magnetism and light are two forms of electromagnetic radiation, a view that was soon supported by the Scottish mathematician James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). Although Faraday's discoveries made him famous and possibly made him wealthy, he and his wife were devout members of a small Protestant sect that encouraged members to live modestly and not accumulate money, thus Faraday turned down the title and an offer to become President of the British Royal Society. and gave away most of what he earned. While Faraday was a brilliant scientist, he was not a mathematician. His theories of electromagnetism and light were based on experiments, not computation. But in 1855 the mathematician Maxwell proved that Faraday was right and that Faraday's inventions were scientifically substantiated.