Seating and storage solutions

A means to the end..

We like to think that we have a very good relationship with our suppliers, and in particular the company that manufacture the office chairs and laboratory chairs that we sell.
On a few occasions we get asked if we can supply something out of the ordinary, like for instance a request we once had for an office chair for an “oversized individual”. I got to thinking and wondering how the people felt all those years ago, when they were propositioned with the task of coming up with the electric chair as the ultimate punishment for crimes committed.
Well after a little bit of research, this is what I found out:

What a shocking idea!

Electrocution was first suggested way back in 1881, when a dentist called Dr Albert Southwick watched an elderly man who had drank “one too many” kill himself instantly and painlessly after touching the terminals of a generator. But it wasn’t until 1886 that the New York State Government set up a commission to look into an alternative form of execution due to the favoured method at the time, hanging, being considered too slow and painful.

Battle commenced between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to design and develop an electric chair. Edison hired Mr Harold Brown and his assistant Dr Fred Peterson to work on a device that used AC voltage, whereas Westinghouse went down the avenue of using DC current.

It’s not what you know, its ????

The government committee tasked with selecting the best design, was headed by Dr Paterson, who was still on the payroll of the Edison company. Perhaps not surprisingly, they opted for the chair that used the AC voltage method, (as developed by Edisons team) and on June 4th 1888 a law was passed confirming that electrocution was to be the new official method of execution for the State of New York and later in 1888 it was chosen for the state wide prison system.

So how does it work:

Once the condemned person is strapped into the chair various cycles of alternating currents, differing in voltage and duration were passed through the body. The first charge was aimed at causing immediate unconsciousness and brain death, the second one was designed to cause fatal damage to the vital organs. Death is usually caused by electrical over stimulation of the heart.

A few facts:

  • The first electric chair was produced by Mr Harold Brown and Mr Arthur Kennelly.
  • The first person to be sent to the electric chair was convicted murderer William Kemmler on 6th August 1890. 
  • The first attempt rendered him unconscious but failed to kill him, however they got it right a few minutes later when he was subjected to a charge of almost 2000 volts lasting app. 2 minutes.
  • The first woman to be executed by use of the electric chair was Martha Place on 20th March 1899.
  • The electric chair was the prominent form of execution until the mid 1980s when death by lethal injection became more widely accepted for conducting executions. 
  • Today it is only maintained as a secondary method of execution that may be chosen instead of lethal injection at the request of the prisoner
  • Robert Gleason, who was executed in the electric chair on January 16th 2013 is the most recent person to choose electrocution over lethal injection.

 Back to the future:

Work Area Ltd don’t have any plans to sell or develop electric chairs, but if our standard range doesn’t quite match what you require, we can also offer chairs with a wider seat area and a higher weight capacity.
Our standard range of chairs are suitable for people up to 25 stone in weight, and all come with a 5 year manufacturers warranty.

Storage advice for solvents and flammable liquids

Work Area Ltd is a member of the Federation of Small Businesses

Work Area Ltd | Registeration No. 7467851 | VAT No. 104 8592 16 | Registered address: 20 St. Annes Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 9EA

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