A bookbinder’s apprentice got enthralled by a volume of Encyclopaedia Britannica and a slim book of chemistry written for English ladies of the day. He then went on to change the course of history by developing the basic principles that power all of modern society.
More than anyone else, Michael Faraday was the “purest” experimental scientist. He’s the reason why we have practical applications for electricity.
In Faraday’s time, there were only around 100 professional scientists in England, but each was a giant. Everyone wanted to be a member of the Royal Society and hang out there. Among other things, the Royal Society published the first scientific journal. Some of the most epic feuds of all time (in science at least) happened at the Royal Society- Newton vs. Hooke; Faraday vs. Davy. Think about it: the guy who coined the most important term in biology, “cell” vs. the father of modern physics; the guy who was one of the greatest chemists of all time vs. the guy who made electricity practical for humanity…
And these guys hated each other on a personal level!