Inventor Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electrical generator in 1831.
He found that if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire, an electric current flowed in the wire. The current also flowed if the loop of wire was moved over a stationary magnet.
The moving magnet created an electric field, called electromagnetic induction.
Generators of all sizes, from hobby motors to giant power station generators still work on the same principle.
A generator contains a magnet fixed to an axle surrounded in copper wire. When the magnet spins, it excites electrons in the copper wire, generating an electric current.
To generate large amounts of electricity, the magnet needs to spin very fast! Power stations use renewable and non-renewable energy sources to make this happen.