Fuses are very old and their emergence seems to arise during the first uses of electricity, however Thomas Edison encassed the fuse in glass for the first time around 1890. The point of the fuse is to prevent to much heat in the wires by melting. Without the fuse, wires could generate enough to heat to burn through the plastic wire casing. The fuse is a reliabe and cheap technology which is why we still use them in abundance. The reusable version of the fuse is the cuicut breaker which they also make for cars; when the level of current reaches a certain level, the metal switch flips and breaks the connection stoping the flow.
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