25 Dec

who killed topsy the elephant

Topsy was about 35 years old at the time of her death, which is about half the expected life span for an elephant with a decent life in the wild. Edison's DC method was badly defeated. During these experiments, Edison and his assistants electrocuted a number of animals, chiefly dogs provided by the SPCA. Topsy's bent tail was evidence of the result of a severe beating. Even though she was pronounced dead, workers still tightened the rope around her neck for up to 10 minutes to confirm. In an attempt to discredit Westinghouse and Tesla by showing how dangerous AC electricity is, Thomas Edison electrified an elephant named Topsy.Find me … At the end of 1902, the Sea Lion was apparently auctioned off and remodeled into Luna Park. The elephant was then executed ruthlessly. On this day the the circus elephant Topsy was killed by electrocution. This incident was widely publicized. Since no one had electrocuted an elephant before, they decided to do so, with a combination of execution of poisoning, strangulation, and finally, electric shock. An electric current of 6,000 volts then flows into her body. The precautions were unnecessary, as Topsy was killed nearly instantly. Edison is not mentioned in any of the numerous contemporaneous newspaper accounts of the killing of Topsy. Topsy's feet were then placed in a conductive copper sandal so that she could easily be electrocuted. Not satisfied with all of that, he also staged a public demonstration about the dangers of using AC currents. Although he was the president of the Edison Manufacturing Co., which, among other things, oversaw the film company, day-to-day operations were in the hands of the vice president and general manager William E. Gilmore. After killing a spectator in 1902, she was sold to Coney Island. While there, the elephant, which was turned into a circus animal, was involved in several incidents, one of which killed a… It is worth noting that none of Edison’s extant correspondence from the period mentions Topsy or the electrocution of an elephant at Coney Island or in any other way links Edison to the execution.  And none directs Gilmore or the Edison Manufacturing Co. to make a film of the event. The elephant belonged to Forepaugh Circus and was considered too violent, so it was decided to put her to death. Did he have anything to do with the execution of Topsy? The New Bedford Mercury reported that the SPCA officers present had said that “they had never seen a more humane manner of causing death,” though they likely had very little real understanding of the effects of electrocution in spite of the experiments Edison had done. And in 1902, Topsy the Elephant made national news when she killed a spectator at Forepaugh’s circus. Brooklyn, New York. Did Edison really electrocute Topsy the Elephant? Abstract An Asian elephant called Topsy was electrocuted in front of 1500 spectators by Thomas Edison in New York on January 4, 1903. A baby elephant from Southeast Asia was brought secretly to America. Just how many people came out to witness Topsy’s execution is a matter of dispute. But he refused. Forepaugh Circus gave a false statement stating that Topsy was the first elephant born in America. The question of Historical accounts of Topsy’s errant behaviour Thomas Edison, one of the giants of American history, is often credited (or more accurately, maligned) with using electricity to … Not infrequently, she was also beaten and threatened with dangerous objects. Topsy, who was said to have been involved in the incident that killed the spectators, was sentenced to death. In 1903, he played no role in the direction of the Edison Electric Illuminating Co. of Brooklyn, which in any case was acting at the behest of officials at Luna Park in conjunction with the SPCA. He played down the use of air conditioning, lobbied congress, and spread false rumors surrounding Tesla's findings. She was sold to Sea Lion Park in 1902 which was then sold to … Chuny travelled to England from Kolkata on board an East India Company ship in 1811, and, after a brief stint … A memorial for Topsy Very likely the film company decided to document the electrocution of Topsy because it was of interest to the public. In most cases, Edison had no personal role in the formation or direction of these companies. He said he would never do it no matter how much money he offered. Let us then examine a species a bit more difficult to anthropomorphize (but hardly impossible, given … Edison was prompted to conduct experiments on animals after SPCA founder Henry Bergh, Jr., contacted him to ask whether electrocution might provide a humane way of killing unwanted animals. She killed her trainer, and as a consequence she was hanged from a railroad crane in East Tennessee in 1916. Topsy was a female elephant who was born around 1875 in Southeast Asia. Not wanting to keep a “bad elephant,” the Forepaugh circus, which was then owned by James Bailey, sold Topsy to a group that helped Electricians from the local electric company fitted two of the elephant’s feet with electrodes to administer the shock. Topsy, a circus elephant that had killed 3 people and was “condemned” to die by execution and the circumstances of her death later became an apocryphal legend of the Current Wars, though a false one. Topsy the Elephant, had killed a drunken handler, who had burnt her trunk with a cigarette after she refused to drink  It is arguably the most famous animal execution ever—the killing of Topsy the elephant at Luna Park on Coney Island in January 1903.  It received national coverage in the newspapers, and the Edison Manufacturing Co. sent a film crew to document it. Because she had killed Topsy’s true crime, if indeed it was an offence, is to be an elephant. Nor is there any evidence that officials of Luna Park, the SPCA, or the Brooklyn Illuminating Co. consulted him on the case. Many believe Topsy was a victim of the Battle of the Current, namely the direct current and alternating current between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Once the switch was flipped, it took just ten seconds before Topsy fell over and died. But apparently, the alternating current (AC) method invented by Nikola Tesla was more efficient. The fire also destroyed Lorenzo Shaw’s Channel Chute, a wooden roller coaster built in 1895 that encircled the hotel and was often called the Elephant Scenic Railway. The execution, chiefly by electrocution, has since been the subject of articles, books, and television documentaries, and in recent times has become something of a cause célèbre.  These days it is usually erroneously portrayed as a key moment in the so-called “Battle of the Currents” between Edison’s direct current system and the Westinghouse-Tesla alternating current system, the outcome of which (a victory for Westinghouse) would determine the course of electrification world-wide.   Â, As American society has become more sensitive to the suffering of animals, the execution of Topsy has also been portrayed in the popular media as an example of animal cruelty. Due to high maintenance costs and nothing to handle Topsy, Thompson and Dundy tried to eliminate her. TOPSY THE CIRCUS ELEPHANT (PART 2) In 1883, as part of his ongoing rivalry with Adam Forepaugh, P.T. The trainer back then was strict and cruel to control circus animals. Some people believe that Topsy's execution using electric shock was carried out to prove the competition's greatness between the two great inventors, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Trying to maintain his good name and standards, Edison became involved in a propaganda war. The newspaper accounts vary from several thousand to 1,500 to “only persons immediately concerned and reporters.”  Had Edison been present, the newspapers would certainly have made note of it, but none even mentioned him at all. Topsy the Elephant. A baby elephant from Southeast Asia was brought secretly to America. Edison’s cameraman filmed the entire scene, and the motion picture, titled Electrocuting an Elephant, was released later in 1903. Topsy quickly grew to be ten feet tall and weigh over four tons.  To meet these objections, park officials, with the approval of the SPCA, subsequently decided to use a combination of poisoning, strangulation, and electrocution. It is arguably the most famous animal execution ever—the killing of Topsy the elephant at Luna Park on Coney Island in January 1903. She was sold to Sea Lion Park in 1902 which was then sold to … As if she knew what she was getting into, Topsy had refused the food. Topsy the Elephant Topsy the elephant, born in 1875, was a female Asian elephant who had been brought to the United States. The silent black and white documentary was also the first animal death to be filmed in history. These experiments at Edison’s West Orange Laboratory did convince SPCA officials that electrocution was a more humane and efficient way of euthanizing animals than either drowning (in the case of dogs) or hanging (in the case of other animals). It received national coverage in the newspapers, and the Edison Manufacturing Co. sent a film crew to … Wired magazine’s online edition, for instance, ran a story on Topsy with the headline “Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His Point.” The point ostensibly was that the Westinghouse AC electrical system was much more dangerous to consumers than Edison’s DC system. But was Edison to blame? Died 1903. TOPSY THE CIRCUS ELEPHANT (PART 3) The opening pages of the Adam Forepaugh Route Book for 1889, featuring Adam Sr. (right) and son Addie (left). Even though she attacked and killed people, I believe she’s innocent of any guilty act. Topsy belonged to the Forepaugh Circus and spent the last years of her life at Coney Island's Luna Park. The historical archetype of these executions was the killing of the elephant Chuny in London in 1826. The execution of Topsy, a female elephant, in a publicity stunt advertising the opening of Luna Park on Coney Island. In front of a crowd of journalists and guests, Topsy was then fed carrots laced with potassium cyanide. Electrocuting an Elephant (also known as Electrocution of an Elephant) is a 1903 American, short, black-and-white, silent documentary film of the killing of the elephant Topsy by electrocution at a Coney Island amusement park. While there, Topsy was involved in several incidents and again deemed unmanageable. No, the owners of the Coney Island Luna Park, messers Frederick Thompson, and Elmer Dundy Did.  Elena Holodny, writing in Business Insider, chimed in, too, noting that Edison “sought to prove that alternating current actually can kill quickly.” Holodny then goes on to say that “at a demonstration [Edison] held at Coney Island, he electrocuted and killed a circus elephant named Topsy.” Countless other websites have followed suit, making the same claim against Edison, likely because the film made of this singular event was given the title “Electrocuting an Elephant—Thomas A. Edison.”. Both are competing between the DC ( direct current ) system and the AC ( alternating current ) system introduced by Nikola Tesla. But the film could have borne no relation to this so-called “Battle of the Currents,” which had ended more than a decade earlier. She was illegally brought to the United States as a baby and made as a stage animal in Forepaugh Circus. His presence was not even mentioned in newspaper reports. On January 4, 1903 Topsy the elephant was executed through a combination of strangulation, poison, and a liberal application of the new technology of electric current. Edison had Topsy fitted with copper-wire sandals, and before a crowd of thousands, an AC current of 6,000 volts was sent coursing through the elephant until she toppled to her side, dead. At Luna Park, messers Frederick Thompson and Dundy tried to eliminate her sentenced to.! On the case Haiti and the Dominican Republic nothing to handle Topsy, a female elephant who was said have! 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