About the invention of the electric chair (7 photos)

At the end of the XIX century, Thomas Edison invented the incandescent lamp, which is a truly great invention, allowing the use of electricity for lighting cities.

A dentist from Buffalo, New York, named Albert Southwick thought that electricity could be used in his medical practice as an analgesic. Once Southwick saw one of the residents of Buffalo touch bare wires electric power to the city and died as thought Southwick, almost instantly and painlessly. This incident prompted him to believe that the execution of using electricity can replace hanging as a more humane and quick punishment. Southwick first talked with the head of the "Society for the protection of animals from cruelty," Colonel Rockwell, offering the use of electricity for getting rid of unwanted animals instead of drowning (a method that has traditionally been used). Rockwell liked the idea.

In 1882, Southwick began experiments on animals, publishing their results in scientific papers. Southwick then showed the results of his influential friend, Senator David McMillan. Southwick said that the main advantage of the execution of electrical is that it is painless and fleeting. McMillan was a supporter of the conservation of the death penalty; it attracted the idea, as an argument against the abolition of the death penalty, because this kind of penalty can not be called cruel and inhumane, therefore, advocates the abolition of the death penalty will lose their most telling arguments. Macmillan gave a speech to the Governor of New York David Bennett Hill. In 1886 it adopted the "Law on the establishment of a commission for research and advice on the most humane and acceptable methods of enforcing the death penalty." The commission includes Southwick, Judge Matthew Hale and policies Elyuridzh Jerry. Conclusion The Commission set out in the ninety-five pages of the report, were as follows: the best method of enforcement of the death penalty is a punishment with electricity. The report recommended the state to replace hanging with a new form of punishment.

Governor Hill signed a law June 5, 1888, which was supposed to enter into force on 1 January 1889, and initiate a new, more humane punishment in the state of New York.

It remained to solve the issue concerning the apparatus for the enforcement of the sentence and the question of what type of electric current must be used: DC or AC.

It should consider the history associated with AC and DC currents. How do they differ, and what is more suitable for the current penalty?

Long before the invention of Thomas Edison, scientists from different countries working on this subject, but no one was able to use electricity in everyday life. Edison carried out in practice before it developed a theory. Edison's first power station was built in 1879; almost immediately the representatives of different cities of the United States went to the scientist. Edison's system, operating on direct current, has had its difficulties. Constant current flows in one direction. DC supply can not be a great distance, we had to build a power plant to provide electricity even a medium-sized city.

The solution was found by the Croatian scientist Nikola Tesla. He developed the idea of ​​using alternating current. Alternating current can change direction several times a second, creating a magnetic field, without losing voltage. The alternating voltage can be increased and decreased using transformers. High voltage can be transmitted over long distances with little loss, and then through the step-down transformer, to bring electricity to consumers. Some cities have used AC system (but not on the development of Tesla), and this system has attracted investors. One such investor was George Westinghouse, known for his invention of the aerodynamic brake. Westinghouse intend to make use of the AC profitable, but the technology DC Edison was more popular at the time. Tesla worked for Edison, but he paid no attention to its development, and Tesla resigned. Soon after he patented his idea and was able prodemontrirovat them in action. In 1888, Westinghouse bought Tesla's patents from forty, and in some years more than a hundred cities have used AC system. Edison Company began to take their positions.


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