A Tale of a Great Inventor, a Bitter Rivalry and a Shocking Invention.
In 1879 Thomas Edison unveiled a world-changing invention - electricity, an invisible force that produced light, powered streetcars and carried telephone conversations. A decade later Edison, formerly an avowed opponent of the death penalty, championed the creation of a completely different sort of device - the electric chair.
Edison promoted the electric chair for reasons that remain controversial to this day. Was he genuinely concerned to find a humane alternative to the gallows? Was it part of his bitter battle with rival George Westinghouse for commercial dominance? Or, in fact, was he warning the public of real dangers posed by the high-voltage wires that looped above America's streets?
In this book Mark Essig delivers a provocative new examination of Edison - the man and the inventor. He also explores America's fascination with technology and violent death.