The War of the Currents had been lost, and Edison's opponents, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, had won. Topsy was one tough elephant. The film was believed to be an opportunity for Edison to bespeak the pernicious nature of the abhorrent alternate current on a mammoth animal. A year later, when the park was distressed with bankruptcy, its proprietor Paul Boyton leased it out to Frederic Thompson and Elmer Dundy who were then developing the Luna Park. A century later, at the Coney Island Museum, a memorial was unveiled, not only to commemorate the life and death of Topsy the elephant but also pay heartfelt tribute to a soul that contributed significantly to the scientific advancements in that period. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine.

If you ask the folks at the Coney Island Museum, they'll show it to you. Naturally, Topsy was turned over to her new owners. Many believe Topsy was a victim of the so-called War of the Currents, the battle between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison over alternating and direct current. Credits, Media/Business Inquiries Some people deviate, stating that Topsy, in many ways, was doomed to die. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. Attraction status, hours and prices change without notice; call ahead! During the 25 years she was there, Topsy gained a reputation as being dangerous. Topsy’s passing away ended up being stale news decently not long after the episode, however, on the grounds that a video documentation of her demise still exists today, she has returned into the public appearance as an exemplary image of how to show care and respect to animals. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. After this much-hyped incident, Topsy was disposed of Coney Island’s Sea Lion Park. Fact Analysis: STSTW Media strives to deliver accurate information through careful research. Coney Island has a powerful electrical plant -- we'll FRY Topsy! This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. ), Also see: Elephant Burial Ground | Roadside Pet Cemetery. The ASPCA protested: Hanging was cruel and inhuman punishment. Topsy (około 1875 – 4 stycznia 1903) – słonica cyrkowa zabita poprzez porażenie prądem.. Życie. AC beat out DC, but both Edison and Westinghouse prospered (Tesla did not). or Edison eventually lost the War of the Currents to his opponent Nikola Tesla. Died 1903. As the 19th century turned into the 20th, one of the biggest attractions at Coney Island's "Luna Park" was its private herd of elephants, which roamed freely. That wasn't much consolation to Topsy, who was dead, nor to Luna Park, which was eventually destroyed in a horrible fire. “Captured on film by Thomas Edison, the event was one of a string of animal electrocutions Edison staged to discredit a new form of electricity: alternating current,” writes Tony Long for Wired. He was then in strong contention with the alternating current strategy of Nikola Tesla. Electrocuting an Elephant, OTOH, is a significant early film, for which we have no article. Topsy being escorted to cross the bridge for her execution.

Sources like Rutgers University are of the impression that a film crew which represented the Edison Electric Illuminating Co shot the video in all likelihood. And, if she was really a ferocious, unmanageable beast, Topsy unquestionably didn’t demonstrate it on her last day.

Edison at the time was engaged in his own free-for-all, battling Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse for control of America's electric infrastructure.

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