January 4, 1904: Edison Electrocutes an Elephant

1904– To show the effects of how dangerous Nikolai Tesla’s Alternating current was, Thomas Alva Edison filmed the electrocution of the elephant, Topsy. This was falsely advertised as the first Elephant to be born in America by the Forepaugh Circus. Topsy was named after a slave girl in the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. Topsy was sold to Cony Island’s Sea Lion park. Her handler, William Whitey Alt, used Topsy to try and go after police. He also was involved in an incident where he used the elephant as an intimidation factor to the local police. Alt was fired and the...

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