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Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His Point [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-5-26 19:19:40 |Display all floors
When You Turn on the Light: Think of Topsy  

1903: Thomas Edison stages his highly publicized electrocution of an elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current, which, if it posed any immediate danger at all, was to Edison's own direct current.

Edison had established direct current at the standard for electricity distribution and was living large off the patent royalties, royalties he was in no mood to lose when George Westinghouse and Nicola Tesla showed up with alternating current.

Edison's aggressive campaign to discredit the new current took the macabre form of a series of animal electrocutions using AC (a killing process he referred to snidely as getting "Westinghoused"). Stray dogs and cats were the most easily obtained, but he also zapped a few cattle and horses.

Edison got his big chance, though, when the Luna Park Zoo at Coney Island decided that Topsy, a cranky female elephant who had squashed three handlers in three years (including one idiot who tried feeding her a lighted cigarette), had to go.

Park officials originally considered hanging Topsy but the SPCA objected on humanitarian grounds, so someone suggesting having the pachyderm "ride the lightning," a practice that had been used in the American penal system since 1890 to dispatch the condemned. Edison was happy to oblige.

When the day came, Topsy was restrained using a ship's hawser fastened on one end to a donkey engine and on the other to a post. Wooden sandals with copper electrodes were attached to her feet and a copper wire run to Edison's electric light plant, where his technicians awaited the go-ahead.

In order to make sure that Topsy emerged from this spectacle more than just singed and angry, she was fed cyanide-laced carrots moments before a 6,600-volt AC charge slammed through her body. Officials needn't have worried. Topsy was killed instantly and Edison, in his mind anyway, had proved his point.

A crowd put at 1,500 witnessed Topsy's execution, which was filmed by Edison and released later that year as Electrocuting an Elephant.

In the end, though, all Edison had to show for his efforts was a string of dead animals, including the unfortunate Topsy, and a current that quickly fell out of favor as AC demonstrated its superiority in less lethal ways to become the standard.


http://www.wired.com/science/dis ... 0104##ixzz0p279shLr
Topsy the Elephant.jpg

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Post time 2010-5-26 21:19:32 |Display all floors

Poor old Topsy

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Post time 2010-5-27 15:06:47 |Display all floors
Isn't there still a small part of manhattan, with DC?
您买象牙 - 您杀了大象!
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjU1Nzg0NDky.html - “用现代文明标准比划中国人,是严重的种族歧视行为。”
„Ich ficke wo, wen, und wann ich will, hast du mich verstanden. Auch du könntest ficken, aber du kannst es ja gar nicht, deine deutsche Genauigkeit... verbietet es dir“. Jean-Claude Juncker

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Post time 2010-5-27 16:55:58 |Display all floors

LCSULLA

Not sure.

But Washington might have some DC in it.  

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Post time 2010-5-31 21:49:11 |Display all floors
The RSPCA are on the case.

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Post time 2010-6-1 18:26:42 |Display all floors
Maybe this is what made Edison think of : -


Trunk calls.  

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Post time 2010-6-3 21:02:19 |Display all floors

.

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