This lecture will describe the event leading to the discovery of superconductivity in 1911 by the Dutch scientist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes.
Some of the basic properties of superconductors are discussed as well as attempts to increase the superconducting transition temperature.
A major breakthrough occurred in 1986 with the discovery of the so-called "high temperature" superconductors.
Attention will be given to the exciting applications of superconductors. The lecture is fully illustrated and is at a general level.