By Alex Boese
The Pig Who Survived an Atomic Bomb
The Psychologist Who concealed underneath Beds
The Founding Father Who brought Mouth-to-Mouth . . . to a Chicken
Welcome to a couple of the main strange experiments ever carried out within the identify of technology. Alex Boese's Electrified Sheep is filled with eccentric characters, irrational obsessions, and severe experiments. Watch as scientists try to nuke the moon, wince on the health care professional who plays a self-appendectomy, and seize the faint whiff of singed wool from an electrified sheep.
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Additional resources for Electrified Sheep: Glass-eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiments
The writer of the letter used to be Harold Pitney Brown, an almost unknown, thirty-year-old, self-educated electric engineer. He pulled no punches. ‘The alternating current,’ he thundered, ‘can be defined through no adjective much less forceful than damnable. ’ It was once real, he conceded, that AC should be operated at cheaper price than DC, yet via permitting AC wires to run via neighbourhoods, he argued, humans have been unknowingly placing their lives in danger. An AC cord overhead, he warned, was once as risky as ‘a burning candle in a powder factory’. Someone’s demise was once inevitable. yet a DC twine, he insisted, was once completely secure. have been humans particularly keen to alternate lives for a number of funds in rate reductions? The letter stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy. The backers of AC disregarded his accusations as groundless, yet Edison sensed chance. might be, he reasoned, Brown used to be directly to whatever. possibly clients may be scared clear of AC by means of convincing them of its hazards. the method was once worthy a try out. no less than, it couldn’t harm to discreetly push a bit funds in Brown’s path and make allowance him to be his assault puppy. Brown, basking in his new-found notoriety, gladly took the task. Death-Current Experiments within the Edison Lab With Edison’s encouragement, Brown introduced an anti-AC crusade that, to this present day, marks a low element within the annals of company public kin. because the public appeared unwilling to simply accept the risk of alternating present in response to his note by myself, Brown determined to turn out his argument scientifically. He got here up with the assumption of accomplishing experiments during which he may try out the power of animals to resist excessive voltages of alternating and direct present. the general public may well then see for itself which present was once extra deadly. Brown all started his ‘death-current experiments’ in July 1888 at Edison’s company laboratory in Orange, New Jersey. He labored past due within the night while the standard staff had long gone domestic. His topics have been stray canines obtained from neighbourhood boys for 25 cents apiece. evening after evening, with grim selection, Brown arrived on the lab, conscientiously calibrated his apparatus, after which proceeded to electrocute canine. The pitiful howls and cries of the creatures echoed throughout the development. Scientifically his experiments have been little greater than a farce, notwithstanding his effects however seemed in electric journals. He made no try to regulate for variables equivalent to the burden of the canine, their actual , or the quantity of voltage. He easily stored electrocuting canines until eventually he obtained the implications he sought after, and he missed any contradictory facts. every now and then his brutal equipment proved an excessive amount of even for the assistants assigned to assist him. One evening Brown was once giving a 50-pound half-bred shepherd repeated jolts of direct present. The animal had already withstood 1,000 volts, then 1,100, 1,200, 1,300, 1,400, and at last 1,420 volts, yet Brown determined to determine if it may well live to tell the tale longer exposures, so he gave it 1,200 volts for two-and-a-half seconds. The puppy wailed in anguish and attempted to flee its harness.