History is not just a recent discovery, people from as far back as two thousand years ago already knew of the existence of electricity. During the time of the ancient Greeks, scientists from the period found out that rubbing fur on amber will cause an attraction between the two materials. In the 17th century, there were many discoveries made that have a strong relation to electrical phenomena, for example, the invention of the first eletrostatic generator or the discovery of the differences in the positive and negative currents. In 1600, William Gilbert, an English physician, thought up of the word electric, which was derived from the Greek word elektron. The term was used in order to identify the force that particular materials or substances exert when these materials are rubbed against each other.
There is a common belief that Benjamin Franklin is the father electricity but based on historical events, this is not actually true. Franklin reportedly made his famous flying kite experiment in 1752 -- an experiment that was said to confirm the that lightning and electricity were related. But modern scientists say that this is a story that is not based on truth because Franklin would've been killed or seriously injured if he had been hit by lightning. The more likely story is that Franklin was insulated and was not in the direct path of the lightning strike.
Alessandro Volta, a physicist from Italy, first constructed the voltaic pile in 1800. This device will come to be more popularly known as the electric battery and was the first ever device to produce a steady current of electricity. Volta was actually the person who discovered that particular chemical reactions would lead to the production of electricity.