In the late 1800s an avalanche of electrical innovations emerged and shocked the world--the first transatlantic cable came in 1866, the first telephone in 1876, the first light bulb in 1879, the first AC power transformer in 1881, and by 1882 the first commercial power plant by Edison servicing residents of one square mile in Lower Manhattan. Then in the autumn of 1882 the world saw its first electrical-engineering courses. But that is the end of the story.
- Concurrently and possibly influenced by MIT, William Anthony wrote a curriculum for the new profession of electrical engineering at Cornell University in 1883. Anthony taught a class called “measurement of electromagnetic power, with reference to electromagnetic machines and motors" in 1873, but was inspired by a student letter in 1882 to create an electrical engineering curriculum.
- The first national electrical engineering department at any college is cited to have been formed in 1886 at the University of Missouri. Professor of Physics Benjamin Franklin Thomas felt that electrical engineering should be separate from physics.