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Patented: History of Inventions

The Electric Chair

In 1890, the Governor of New York called for a new method of capital punishment. A more modern, efficient, scientific method was being sought. There was still a buzz around the recently harnessed power of electricity, which, when delivered. at high voltage to a prisoner strapped to a chair, would do the job (though not quite, at least the first time). The terrifying prospect of the Electric Chair was also hoped to put off potential criminals. Mark Essig, author of Edison and the Electric Chair: a Story of Light and Death, tells Dallas how it came about.

Mixed by Benjie Guy. Produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.

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Patented: History of Inventions
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