Coal as an energy source was really jump started by the invention of the steam engine during the Industrial Revolution. However it wasn’t until the 1880s that coal was first used to generate electricity for homes and factories. In 1882 Edison built the first practical coal fired electric generating station to provide electricity to some residents of New York City. Since then it coal fired electricity generation has taken off immensely and by 1961 coal had become the major fuel used by electricity utilities to generate electricity in the US.
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