Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death

Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death


A Discover journal best technological know-how Book

Thomas Edison surprised the US in 1879 by way of unveiling a world-changing invention--the gentle bulb--and then launching the electrification of America's towns. A decade later, regardless of having been an avowed opponent of the dying penalty, Edison threw his laboratory assets and attractiveness in the back of the construction of a really varied kind of device--the electrical chair. Deftly exploring this startling bankruptcy in American background, Edison & the electrical Chair grants either a vibrant portrait of a country at the cusp of modernity and a provocative new exam of Edison himself.

Edison championed the electrical chair for purposes that stay debatable to at the present time. was once Edison surely fascinated about the affliction of the condemned? was once he waging a crusade to smear his rival George Westinghouse's alternating present and increase his personal method? Or was once he caution the general public of genuine risks posed by means of the high-voltage alternating wires that looped above hundreds and hundreds of America's streets? Plumbing the interesting heritage of electrical energy, Mark Essig explores America's love of expertise and its fascination with violent loss of life, shooting an period while the general public used to be mesmerized and terrified by means of an invisible strength that produced blazing mild, powered streetcars, carried mobilephone conversations--and killed.

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