Geomagnetic disturbances have affected electrical systems on the ground for over 150 years. The first effects were noted on the early telegraph in the 1840s and in this century magnetic storms have caused power system blackouts and phone system outages. Affected systems include all those that use electrical conductors: whether for transmission of power or signals or where the conducting properties are incidental to their use such as with pipelines and railway tracks. In power systems geomagnetically induced currents cause partial saturation of power transformers producing transformer heating and distortion of the ac waveform leading to misoperation of relays and other equipment. On pipelines, induced currents may contribute to corrosion but also present a problem with the electrical surveys of the pipe performed to monitor the corrosion prevention systems. Severity of these effects depends on disturbance size, proximity to the auroral zone, and the conductivity structure of the Earth. Also significant are system parameters such as the use of higher resistance coatings on pipelines and the linking of power systems into larger networks. In this paper we have attempted to catalogue all the published reports of geomagnetic effects on electrical systems and show their occurrence in the context of the solar cycle and geomagnetic activity variations for the years 1844 to 1996.