Poor Topsy. Thomas Edison killed the circus elephant, electrocuting the animal to demonstrate how dangerous alternating current was. Edison even described electrocution as being “Westinghoused,” after the company promoting AC. It was the apex of the War of the Currents, where the evil Edison was pitted against the brilliant Nikola Tesla. It’s a battle that Edison lost, and all because of transformers, simple coils of wire that could change the voltage of AC and made long-distance transmission of electricity possible, unleashing the power of Niagara Falls. However, in the longer term, it looks like Edison’s direct current is winning the war.