Around 600 AD the Greek philosopher Thales from Milete discovered that when amber is rubbed against cloth, lightweight objects will stick to it. The friction had generated static electricity. The amber stone is called electron in Greek. Hence the name electricity. For the next 2400 years scientific research would focus on static electricity.
It was not until 1797 that Alessandro Volta created his famous Pile and entered the field of electrodynamics. From then theoretical interest in static electricity was lost and the 19th century would bring us a multitude of practical applications of electricity instead. To read more please expand the headers below.