We provide a historic outlook on the development of the concept of bioelectricity, with emphasis on the neuromuscular junction as a model that revolutionized our thinking of the nerve, nervous, and muscle tissue excitability. We abridge some crucial experiments in defining the electrical excitability of biological cells. We also provide an insight into developments of tools and methods, which gradually yielded a contemporary "palette" of electrophysiology approaches, including the patch clamp. Pioneering steps in this journey, ranging from Galvani's experiments using the Leyden jar to those of Neher and Sakmann using a gigaseal patch-clamp approach, are pictorially illustrated. This chapter is meant to be a perspective to the following sections in this volume dedicated to patch-clamp methods and protocols. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.