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eivind2610 t1_j4baf00 wrote

I specified in a different comment, which you seemingly didn't read. I believed this to be true, but read up on it after my initial comment, and found out a bit more about what actually happened.


The elephant thing was only indirectly related to him - not false, but not completely true either. The elephant was indeed electocuted, and someone from Edison's company was invited as essentially "guests of honor" to watch the electrocution. They filmed the event, which I believe is considered the first filmed execution of an animal, and the film was dedicated to Thomas Edison - which, you know, even that is a pretty messed up thing to do.

As for the pets: He didn't personally electrocute them, but he actively backed and supported a campaign that paid kids a quarter for pets and small animals - "coinciding" with a streak of missing pets in the area - only to use DC power to torture them, then AC power to kill them. Again: He didn't personally flip the switch... but he provided the equipment and the resources needed, and actively supported what they were doing.


Lost_vob t1_j4bkzzz wrote

Edison's hadn't has anything to do with "Edison Electric" or the electrical industry for over a decade at this point. The only connection is that a group of journalist were invited to the press conference of the event, one of which was one of Edison film crews.

What historical source material do you have about this "streak of missing pets"? I can't find any evidence outside of unsourced clickbait.


eivind2610 t1_j4bxhfo wrote

The more accurate claim would be that he paid 'youngsters' a quarter for "live cats and dogs", and didn't ask any questions in regards to where they came from. He may very well have intended for them to catch strays, but the youngsters probably only went "oooh, a quarter", and sold him any animals they could get their hands on. This is backed by several sources, including the "secretary of of historical research" at the Thomas A. Edison laboratory in West Orange, who had direct access to the research papers, and wrote a book that covered it. According to what I've been reading for the past while, I get the impression that this is stuff Edison and his team did, themselves - not this campaign I mentioned previously. So he might've been more involved than I thought!

As for the elephant: Yes, it's true that Edison hadn't been personally involved in this for a while when it happened. Which I have agreed with several times. Hence why I stated that he was only indirectly involved; having a film crew from his company dedicate the film of an animals execution to him personally is absolutely indirect involvement, whether or not he was in charge of the company at the time.