4 Jan, 1903: The Day Edison Fried an Elephant to Prove His Point

Topsy the eletrocuted elephant
Topsy – the death sentenced elephant

Thomas Edison is obviously not much of an animal lover. Read this story on the WIRED blog.

On 4 Jan, 1903, Thomas Edison staged his highly publicized electrocution of an elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current (AC).

This was because he had established direct current as the standard for electricity distribution and was living largely off the patent royalties. When another two punk scientists showed up with AC, he felt his livelihood threatened.

Other than the poor elephant, Edison also zapped many stray cats, dogs, horses and cattle in a series of animal electrocutions to prove his point. I think if he was allowed to, he might have jolly well electrocuted a human being as well.

Here’s the elephant electrocution video (WARNING: Not suitable for viewing by animal lovers):

Can Edison’s actions here be considered as necessary animal testings for the advancement of science? It seems to be more for his personal gain… my respect for Edison has just gone down a notch.

Be kind to animals please.

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