This chapter identifies a number of historical energy transitions at household, urban, national and/or global scales. In addition to inherited physical forms, a wide range of cultural practices, norms and aspirations carry historic energy transitions into the present. Past transitions demonstrate the significance of the social, economic, and political arrangements within which new technologies and fuels emerge, and to which they subsequently give shape. Past energy transitions have been about much more than the substitution of fuels according to the grand fuel sequence, or the innovation and diffusion of energy conversion technologies. The 'grand transition' from an organic to mineral economy occurred first in heating, rather than lighting, transport or power. Three energy transitions are particularly significant: the expanding role of oil in the twentieth century; the emergence of electricity as a brand-new energy carrier and its subsequent proliferation; and the post-war growth of natural gas's contribution to the global energy mix.