One of them was his trainer named James Fielding Blount, who was drunk. No, the owners of the Coney Island Luna Park, messers Frederick Thompson, and Elmer Dundy Did. While there, the elephant, which was turned into a circus animal, was involved in several incidents, one of which killed a… Edison's DC method was badly defeated. Topsy quickly grew to be ten feet tall and weigh over four tons. The historical archetype of these executions was the killing of the elephant Chuny in London in 1826. During these experiments, Edison and his assistants electrocuted a number of animals, chiefly dogs provided by the SPCA. 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. Did he have anything to do with the execution of Topsy? The industrial giant, George Westinghouse, was also supported this discovery, which was then immediately used widely. 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. While there, Topsy was involved in several incidents and again deemed unmanageable. An illustration of Topsy, a female Asian elephant killed at a Coney Island, New York park by electrocution on January 4, 1903. 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. 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. Electricians from the local electric company fitted two of the elephant’s feet with electrodes to administer the shock. He said he would never do it no matter how much money he offered. But was Edison to blame? While there, the elephant, which was turned into a circus animal, was involved in several incidents, one of which killed a spectator. Topsy was a female elephant who was born around 1875 in Southeast Asia. Namely, the elephant killed three people in the last three years, including her abusive coach who allegedly tried to give her a lit cigarette to … She performed at the Forepaugh Circus for 25 years, and after killing a … Like so many local illuminating companies across the United States, the Brooklyn company used the Edison name because it originally employed the Edison system of electric power generation under license from the Edison Electric Light Co. of New York. Let us then examine a species a bit more difficult to anthropomorphize (but hardly impossible, given … One day Blount went to the elephant's tent and tried to give Topsy a whiskey. Edison is not mentioned in any of the numerous contemporaneous newspaper accounts of the killing of Topsy. She was illegally brought to the United States as a baby and made as a stage animal in Forepaugh Circus. Apparently, Edison realized that AC generators were more widespread throughout the country than DC. It is arguably the most famous animal execution ever—the killing of Topsy the elephant at Luna Park on Coney Island in January 1903. Not infrequently, she was also beaten and threatened with dangerous objects. Myth Buster-Topsy the Elephant Did Edison really electrocute Topsy the Elephant? Nor is there any evidence that officials of Luna Park, the SPCA, or the Brooklyn Illuminating Co. consulted him on the case. The execution took place on a dreary Jan. 4.  Topsy was dosed with poison, and a rope was put around her neck. Topsy (circa 1875-January 4, 1903), was a circus elephant killed by electrocution on January 4, 1903. Historical accounts of Topsy’s errant behaviour 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. 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. But the film could have borne no relation to this so-called “Battle of the Currents,” which had ended more than a decade earlier. Edison's experience in this matter then prompted Thompson and Dundy to contact him. 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. Topsy, who was said to have been involved in the incident that killed the spectators, was sentenced to death. Edison associates had also used the results of this laboratory research during the Battle of the Currents (1886-1892) to demonstrate that AC was more dangerous than DC. Unaware that the elephant was terrified of the glaring stage lights, deafening crowd noise, and constant beatings, Phil Wingren, who brought his family to the circus, remarked that Topsy must relish being a star. Did Edison really electrocute Topsy the Elephant? 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. 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. On this day the the circus elephant Topsy was killed by electrocution. Brooklyn, New York. 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. But the elephant refused, which then made Blount furious. TOPSY THE CIRCUS ELEPHANT (PART 2) In 1883, as part of his ongoing rivalry with Adam Forepaugh, P.T. Because she killed … Died 1903. Topsy was later sold to entertainment entrepreneur Paul Boynton, owner of Sea Lion Park on Coney Island. And in 1902, Topsy the Elephant made national news when she killed a spectator at Forepaugh’s circus. 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. Just how many people came out to witness Topsy’s execution is a matter of dispute. Edison then began to carry out propaganda that discredited Tesla’s findings. The answer is an emphatic “no.” Topsy was sentenced to death by Luna Park officials after she had killed three men over a three-month period.  That she had, under the goading of her drunken handler, menaced the local police and some workmen likely also influenced amusement park officials in their decision to rid themselves of the elephant. Because she had killed 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). 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