Limp Lamp

March 11th, 2011

Whenever I think of lightbulbs, I think of Thomas Edison electrocuting dogs, cats and Topsy the elephant. 

In 1903, Thomas Edison was raking in the cash from patent royalties for direct current, which had been established as the standard for electricity distribution in the United States. Meanwhile, Nikola Tesla (death ray maniac/david bowie’s most hilarious film role), was touting his new and improved alternating current, which threatened to ground Edison’s direct current currency.

So, in one of history’s most sordid publicity stunts, Edison decided to round up a slew of stray street pets and demonstrate the “danger” of Tesla’s alternating current by publicly electrocuting them and filming the fry fest with his own motion picture camera.

But the novelty of zapping knee-high waggers burns up quicker than fur. Edison’s crackling bloodlust demanded bigger game. 

Enter Topsy, a Coney Island elephant that had killed three of its handlers in as many years. An ironic figurative lightbulb appeared above Edison’s head, and Topsy was riding the lightning faster than you can say “Topsy was riding the lightning faster than you can say”.

In the end, despite fried felines, pulsed pooches and an electrified elephant, Tesla’s far superior alternating current became the standard, and Edison went down in history as one of America’s most “inventive” murderers.

Yours,
Kyle “Dick In A Lamp” Gatehouse

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3 Comments

Matt and Kyle and Matt
Mar 14, 2011
Edison invented one version of the motion picture camera, but it was his projector that really made waves in the early film world, and allowed large audiences to watch films in much the same way that we do today.
 
LINDA
Mar 14, 2011
WOW .he was a nasty prick
 
John
Mar 14, 2011
So Edison invented the motion picture camera? Hmph.