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William Kemmler
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    (May 9, 1860-August 6, 1890)
    Resident of Buffalo, New York
    First person executed in the electric chair
    He was an alcoholic.
    He murdered his common-law wife Tillie with a hatchet.
    His appeal was financed by George Westinghouse, who feared the execution would give his alternating-current generators a bad name.
    He was a pawn in the 'War of the Currents' between Westinghouse and Thomas Edison.
    Before the execution, he told the warden, 'Take it easy and do it properly. I'm in no hurry.'
    The first jolt of electricity failed to kill him.
    The current was then applied for so long that he caught fire.
    Westinghouse commented about the execution, 'They could have done better with an ax.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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