There is ample evidence that many electrical phenomena were observed in early times. Thales, of Greece, about 600 B.C., observed that amber when vigorously rubbed would attract light bodies such as scraps of thin paper. When a piece of magnetic iron found in Asia Minor was seen to attract bits of iron it was suggested that the two phenomena might be identical, but early in the seventeenth century Dr. William Gilbert pointed out the difference and brought the words "magnetism" and "electricity" into use.
©1929 by Iowa State Teachers College
Hersey, S. F.
Science Bulletin: Vol. 1:
6, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/science_bulletin/vol1/iss6/6