[LM111442], Letter from Arthur Edwin Kennelly to Harold P Brown, June 29th, 1889



My Dear Mr Brown##In view of the present condition of affairs in the matter of electrocide, the forthcoming judicial examination, and at Mr Edison's instance, I beg to bring the following consideration before your notice.##The only argument of any weight that can be urged against electrocide on the scene of a punishment, is that its application may burn the flesh of the criminal, at the point of contact, and that the amount of current which can be given without such mutilation is not yet know.##Other arguments such as the unknown quantity of current necessary, really merge into the preceding because it is only a question of giving such a large margin of current strength as shall inevitably be fatal.##If then by definite experiment before competent witness a --- current could be sent through a man's b---- under parallel conditions without producing any external injury, the internal l---ns if not --- violent would not call for any comment.####This experiment if successfully carried out would effectivelly silence the mutilation argument. It is readily capable of being carrie dout on a dead body say -- a hospital. Any reasonable strength of current whether continuous or alternating could be safely sent through the skin provided the letter immersed in salt water, and thus provided with a liquid electrode, because it is a matter of physical certainty that the temperature at the skin's surface could not exceed the boiling point of water so long as the liquid envelope remained intact, and the --- supply in the flesh was not excessive. I imagine that perhaps ten ampere could in this way be sent through the skin of a humans arm for thirty seconds without mutilating it externally. I remain Yours truly A.E. Kennelly.










Folder Set



[LM111442], Letter from Arthur Edwin Kennelly to Harold P Brown, June 29th, 1889

Microfilm ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University