- Topsy (elephant)
Topsy (born circa 1875, died
January 4, 1903), was a domesticated elephantwith the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in as many years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette), [cite episode | title = Series E, Episode 2 | series = QI | airdate = 2007-09-21 | season = E | number = 2 ] Topsy was deemed a threat to people by her owners and killed by electrocutionon January 4, 1903. [http://www.railwaybridge.co.uk/topsy.html "Bad elephant killed. Topsy meets quick and painless death at Coney Island," The Commercial Advertiser, New York, Jan. 5, 1903. retrieved Oct. 27, 2006] ] Inventor Thomas Edisoncaptured the event on film. He would release it later that year under the title "Electrocuting an Elephant".
A means of execution initially discussed was
hanging. However, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animalsprotested and other ways were considered. Edison then suggested electrocution with alternating current, which had been used for the execution of humans since 1890.
To reinforce the execution, Topsy was fed
carrotslaced with 460 grams of potassium cyanidebefore the deadly current from a 6,600- voltAC source was sent coursing through her body. She was dead in seconds. The event was witnessed by an estimated 1,500 people and Edison's film of the event was seen by audiences throughout the United States.
July 20, 2003, a memorial for Topsy was erected at the Coney Island Museum.
Usage in popular works of art
Portions of Edison's film "Electrocuting an Elephant" have appeared in many works of art such as:
A song called "Coney Island Funeral" recorded by the history band
Pinatalandfor their EP "Songs from Konijn Kok" tells the tale of Topsy.
List of historical elephants
War of Currents
Shooting an Elephant
* [http://www.laweekly.com/art+books/wls/topsy-the-elephant/16401/ Fiction: "Topsy the Elephant"] published by The LA Weekly
* [http://www.coneyisland.com/museum.shtml The Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn, NY]
* [http://www.counterpunch.org/hribal12142006.html "When Animals Resist their Exploitation"] by Jason Hribal
* [http://www.roadsideamerica.com/pet/topsy.html Topsy, Electrocuted by Edison]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/americas/3083029.stm New York honours electrocuted elephant] by BBC News
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Look at other dictionaries:
Topsy — *Topsy, a character in Harriet Beecher Stowe s novel Uncle Tom s Cabin (source of the phrase growed like Topsy ). *Topsy and Tim, a character from the Topsy and Tim series of children s books. *Topsy, a codename for the Japanese passenger… … Wikipedia
Topsy (Elefant) — Topsy am 4. Januar 1903 auf dem von der Edison Manufacturing Co. produzierten Film Electrocuting an Elephant. Der Film wurde von Jacob Blair Smith oder Edwin S. Porter erstellt. Topsy (* um 1867, † 4. Januar … Deutsch Wikipedia
Topsy — est une éléphante apprivoisée qui a été exécutée par électrocution le 4 janvier 1903. Sommaire 1 Vie 2 Mort 3 Littérature 4 Références … Wikipédia en Français
Topsy — Electrocuting an Elephant, Thomas Alva Edison, 1903. Topsy (c. 1875 – 4 de enero de 1903) fue una elefanta de circo que murió electrocutada en la silla eléctrica. Contenido 1 Vida 2 Muerte … Wikipedia Español
Mary (elephant) — The hanging of Mary Mary was a five ton Asian elephant who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. Her death is sometimes interpreted as a cautionary tale of circus animal abuse during the early twentieth century. Contents … Wikipedia
Electrocuting an Elephant — (Électrocuter un Éléphant) est un court métrage muet de Thomas Edison, sorti en 1903, durant 23 secondes. Description Article détaillé : Topsy. Ce film représente l exécution par électrocution de l éléphante Topsy, organisée et filmée par l… … Wikipédia en Français
Electrocuting an Elephant — Filmdaten Originaltitel Electrocuting an Elephant Produktionsland USA … Deutsch Wikipedia
Shooting an Elephant — is an essay by George Orwell, written during the autumn of 1936. Orwell tells of shooting an elephant in British controlled Burma as an Imperial Policeman in 1926.Publication historyOrwell first published the essay in New Writing First series No … Wikipedia
The Elephant Show — (from the second season onward, Sharon, Lois Bram s Elephant Show ) was a Canadian children s television show from 1984 until 1988. The show premiered on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and TVOntario. The Elephant Show featured the… … Wikipedia
Tyke (elephant) — Tyke (1974 – August 20, 1994) was a female circus elephant who on August 20, 1994, in Honolulu, Hawaii, killed her trainer, Allen Campbell, and gored her groomer Dallas Beckwith causing severe injuries during a Circus International performance … Wikipedia