Electric Death, death resulting from electricity discharged through the animal system. The exact conditions requisite for fatal results have not been determined. High electromotive force is absolutely essential; a changing current, pulsatory or alternating, is most fatal. As applied to the execution of criminals, the victim is seated in a chair and strapped thereto. One electrode with wet padded surface is placed against his head or some adjacent part. Another electrode is placed against some of the lower parts, and a current from a alternating dynamo passed for 15 seconds or more. The potential difference of the electrodes is given at 1,500 to 2,000 volts, but, of course, the maximum may be two or three times the measured amount, owing to the character of the current.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.