auburn correctional facility

from thomas edison, nikola tesla posted in technology


auburn correctional facility
135 state street
auburn, new york 13024

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posted by prof_improbable #

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Constructed in 1816, Auburn Prison was the site of the first execution by electric chair.

In the War of the Currents, Thomas Edison (promoting DC power) and the team of George Westinghouse/Nikola Tesla (promoting AC power) were constantly trying to win support, projects, and public favor for their respective systems.

Edison was a crafty showman as well as an inventor, and he invented the grisly electric chair as a publicity stunt to promote fear in the public of AC power.

On May 9, 1860, the murderer William Kemmler became the first recipient of the new technology. Although it had been tested successfully on a horse at 1,000 volts, it did not work on Kemmler the first time. So they tried it again at 2,000 volts. The execution room filled with the smell of burnt flesh and singed hair. All total the execution took eight minutes.

In the end, AC power became the standard for electricity. The electric chair is still with us. In case you doubt his intentions, Edison was good enough to film his executions for commercial release.