7 Marketing Stunts Gone Horribly Wrong

Thomas Edison "Westinghouses" An ElephantThomas Edison “Westinghouses” An Elephant
In the 1880s, American inventor, icon, and total assh*le Thomas Edison was in the midst of a heated competition with inventors George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla over whether Americans would ultimately use Edison’s DC current, or their more practical AC current. (Angus Young would not be born for another 70 years.)

When the public started to realize the limitations of DC current, Edison decided to launch a smear campaign. And so he did what anyone would do in that situation: he electrocuted — or “Westinghoused” — an elephant named Topsy with 6,600 volts of AC current to “prove” how dangerous it was.

Edison was even nice enough to film it (he’d invented that too, after all). Tesla died a pauper and Edison is canonized, but nevertheless we all use AC power today.