Electrification originally referred to the build out of the electrical generating and distribution systems which occurred in the United States, England and other countries from the mid 1880's until around 1940 and is in progress in developing countries. This also included the change over from line shaft and belt drive using steam engines and water power to electric motors. Electrification was called "the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th Century" by the National Academy of Engineering. (Viewable on line)

An alternate definition refers to the modification of a system so that it operates using electricity such as the change of railroad locomotives from steam or diesel to electricity.

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