Topsy: the startling story of the crooked-tailed elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American wizard, Thomas Edison

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In 1903, on Coney Island, an elephant named Topsy was electrocuted, and over the past century, this bizarre, ghoulish execution has reverberated through popular culture with the whiff of urban legend. But it really happened, and many historical forces conspired to bring Topsy, Thomas Edison, and those 6600 volts of alternating current together that day. Tracing them all in Topsy The Startling Story of the Crooked Tailed Elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison, journalist Michael Daly weaves together a fascinating popular history, the first book on this astonishing tale. At the turn of the century, the circus in America was at its apex with the circuses of P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh (or 4-Paw) competing in a War of the Elephants, with declarations of whose pachyderms were younger, bigger, or more 'sacred'. This brought Topsy to America, fraudulently billed as the first native-born, and caught between the circus disputes and the War of the Currents, in which Edison and George Westinghouse (and Nikola Tesla) battled over alternating versus direct current. Rich in period Americana, and full of circus tidbits and larger than life characters-both human and elephant-Topsy is a touching tale and an entertaining read.
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ISBN:
9780802119049
9780802194572
9781624606342
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Grouped Work ID b87bc393-290c-a7db-7ee8-0ae2734f8f7f
full_title topsy the startling story of the crooked tailed elephant p t barnum and the american wizard thomas e
author daly michael
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-09-21 01:56:56AM

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auth_author2 Peckham, Mark.
author Daly, Michael, 1952-
author2-role Peckham, Mark., hoopla digital.
author_display Daly, Michael
available_at_catalog Perl Mack
detailed_location_catalog Bennett - Adult Nonfiction, Perl Mack - Adult Nonfiction
display_description In 1903, on Coney Island, an elephant named Topsy was electrocuted, and over the past century, this bizarre, ghoulish execution has reverberated through popular culture with the whiff of urban legend. But it really happened, and many historical forces conspired to bring Topsy, Thomas Edison, and those 6600 volts of alternating current together that day. Tracing them all in Topsy The Startling Story of the Crooked Tailed Elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison, journalist Michael Daly weaves together a fascinating popular history, the first book on this astonishing tale. At the turn of the century, the circus in America was at its apex with the circuses of P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh (or 4-Paw) competing in a War of the Elephants, with declarations of whose pachyderms were younger, bigger, or more 'sacred'. This brought Topsy to America, fraudulently billed as the first native-born, and caught between the circus disputes and the War of the Currents, in which Edison and George Westinghouse (and Nikola Tesla) battled over alternating versus direct current. Rich in period Americana, and full of circus tidbits and larger than life characters-both human and elephant-Topsy is a touching tale and an entertaining read.
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primary_isbn 9780802119049
publishDate 2013
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subject_facet Animals -- Social aspects -- United States, Barnum, P. T. -- (Phineas Taylor), -- 1810-1891, Capital punishment -- United States -- History, Captive elephants -- United States, Circus -- United States -- History, Circus animals, Circus owners -- United States -- Biography, Competition (Psychology), Coney Island (New York, N.Y.) -- History, Edison, Thomas A. -- (Thomas Alva), -- 1847-1931, Electricty, Electrocution -- Experiments, Electrocution -- United States -- History, Electronic books, Elephants, Elephants -- United States, HISTORY / United States / 20th Century, Inventors -- United States -- Biography, Luna Park (New York, N.Y.) -- History, Scientists -- United States, Topsy (Elephant), United States -- History -- 1901-1909, Westinghouse, George, -- 1846-1914
title_display Topsy : the startling story of the crooked-tailed elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American wizard, Thomas Edison
title_full Topsy : the startling story of the crooked tailed elephant, p.t. barnum, and the american wizard, Thomas Edison [electronic resource] / Michael Daly, Topsy : the startling story of the crooked-tailed elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American wizard, Thomas Edison / Michael Daly, Topsy : the startling story of the crooked-tailed elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American wizard, Thomas Edison [electronic resource] / Michael Daly
title_short Topsy :
title_sub the startling story of the crooked-tailed elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American wizard, Thomas Edison
topic_facet Animals, Barnum, P. T, Capital punishment, Captive elephants, Circus, Circus animals, Circus owners, Competition (Psychology), Edison, Thomas A, Electricty, Electrocution, Electronic books, Elephants, Experiments, History, Inventors, Scientists, Social aspects, Topsy (Elephant), Westinghouse, George