Electrocution

Execution of Czolgosz, with panorama of Auburn Prison
K: Edwin S. Porter. P: Thomas A. Edison. USA 1901
Print: Library of Congress

From a contemporary Edison film company catalog:
“A detailed reproduction of the execution of the assassin of President McKinley faithfully carried out from the description of an eye witness. The picture is in three scenes. First: Panoramic view of Auburn Prison taken the morning of the electrocution. The picture then dissolves into the corridor of murderer’s row. The keepers are seen taking Czolgosz from his cell to the death chamber, and shows State Electrician, Wardens and Doctors making final test of the chair. Czolgosz is then brought in by the guard and is quickly strapped into the chair. The current is turned on at a signal from the Warden, and the assassin heaves heavily as though the straps would break. He drops prone after the current is turned off. The doctors examine the body and report to the Warden that he is dead, and he in turn officially announces the death to the witness. Class B 200 ft. $24.00”
Library of Congress

“Born in 1873 in Detroit, Michigan, Leon Frank Czolgosz was the assassin of President William McKinley. He grew up poor as one of seven children born to immigrant parents. Czolgosz moved around a lot with his family between different Midwestern cities. He started working at the age of 10. A short time later, he lost his mother when she died in childbirth.
In Cleveland, Ohio, Czolgosz worked in the wire mills. He was known as a good employee and even received a merit-based pay raise. But Czolgosz eventually lost that job as the wire mill owners sought to cut workers’ wages. During the 1880s and 1890s, tensions ran high between workers and business owners over fair pay and working conditions. Czolgosz witnessed several violent strikes at large factories where he and his brothers worked. He also observed the disparity between the rich and the poor, which deeply angered him, and thus turned to socialist and anarchist teachings.”
Biography

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