John Feeks being electrocuted, 1889

John Feeks being electrocuted, 1889

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Feeks being electrocuted. In Lower Manhattan, New York, USA, in 1889, Western Union lineman John Feeks was electrocuted by alternating current (AC) wires. His corpse dangled for hours, unable to be retrieved. At the time there was a battle for dominance between AC and direct current (DC). The latter was favoured by Thomas Edison, who had considerable commercial interest in its success. He used this death as evidence for the dangerous nature of AC current. Eventually AC won the battle for dominance. Its properties allowed it to be easily transformed and transferred large distances without loss.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1889, 1891, 19th century, a-c, ac, accident, adult, alternating current, american, artwork, caucasian, dead, death, dying, electricity, electrocuted, electrocuting, electrocution, fatal, historical, history, human, illustration, john feeks, lower manhattan, male, man, new york, north america, physical, physics, physique populaire, thomas alva edison, united states, us, usa, western union lineman, wire

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