NEC History www.necdirect.org
"Developed less than 20 years after Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb, the NECÂ® has been protecting lives for more than a century. Here is a brief history of the Code:
1879: Edison's invention is presented, along with a claim that electric lighting poses no fire danger whatsoever. Since no codes exist, installers and manufacturers are forced to improvise and electrical fires are soon on the rise. By 1881, one insurer reports 23 fires in 65 textile mills in New England.
1895: Five conflicting electrical installation codes are in use in the United States, resulting in controversy and confusion. The need for a national code of rules for electrical construction and operation is urgent.
1896: Representatives from a variety of organizations meet at the New York City headquarters of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The committee recognizes that the five existing codes should collectively be used as a basis for a single, comprehensive document. In the first known instance of international harmonization, the group also refers to the German "safety rules for electrical power installations," the code of the British Board of Trade, and the Phoenix Rules of England.
1897: Before publication, the first U.S. electrical code is reviewed by 1,200 individuals in the U.S. and Europe.
1911-Present: NFPA becomes the sponsor of the NECÂ® in 1911, and furthers the tradition of industry consensus. Use of the NECÂ® continues to grow, and today it's the most used code in the U.S., adopted in all 50 states, the territories, and several countries."