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Dr. Alfred P. Southwick (1826 - 1898), was a dentist from Buffalo, New York. He is credited with inventing the first electric chair as a method of execution. Dr. Southwick is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York, USA.[1]


The Electric Chair

In 1881, Dr. Alfred Southwick witnessed an intoxicated man touch a live electric generator. Given that the man died so quickly, Dr. Southwick concluded that electricity could be used as an alternative to hanging for executions. As Southwick was a dentist who was accustomed to performing procedures on subjects in chairs, his device for electrical execution appeared in the form of an "electric chair."

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On August 6, 1890, William Kemmler was executed by electrocution. Southwick was present and is reported to have said "There is the culmination of ten years work and study! We live in a higher civilization from this day.”[2]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Electric Chair

External links


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