Since Murdoch Mysteries is a historical drama of sorts, perhaps we could start a section where the history behind the show is discussed? I am personally interested in architecture and the material culture of the 19th and early 20th centuries. I've already started researching the history behind station house #4 (yes, it did exist!). I would love to share my findings with you. What do you think?
This is a great idea. On the Alibi Message board several of the people who write there add very interesting comments on the real history of certain inventions, society, medicine etc.
I wonder if there is a way of promoting the show via science and historical interest, as well as the regular murder mystery/crime drama approach? I would think it would be of interest to science teachers/students as well as history teachers/students.
I'm a history teacher so the historical elements interest me. I'll start with episode 1: Power. The debate between direct and alternating current was real. It is sometimes called the War of Currents and it was between Thomas Edison who developed direct current, and Nikola Tesla who was instrumental to alternating current. Direct current was standard in the U.S. At the introduction of Edison's system, no practical AC motor was available. Edison had invented a meter to allow customers to be billed for energy proportional to consumption, but this meter only worked with direct current. From his work with rotary magnetic fields, Tesla devised a system for generation, transmission, and use of AC power. He partnered with George Westinghouse to commercialize this system. Edison was not knowledgeable in mathematics and mathematical physics to harness AC.
On the electrocution aspect: (from Wikipedia: War of Currents) Edison carried out a campaign to discourage the use of alternating current, including spreading disinformation on fatal AC accidents, publicly killing animals, and lobbying against the use of AC in state legislatures. Edison directed his technicians, primarily Arthur Kennelly and Harold P. Brown, to preside over several AC-driven killings of animals, primarily stray cats and dogs but also unwanted cattle and horses. Acting on these directives, they were to demonstrate to the press that alternating current was more dangerous than Edison's system of direct current. He also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being "Westinghoused". Years after DC had lost the "war of the currents," in 1902, his film crew made a movie of the electrocution with high voltage AC, supervised by Edison employees, of Topsy, a Coney Island circus elephant that had recently killed three men.
Edison opposed capital punishment, but his desire to disparage the system of alternating current led to the invention of the electric chair. Harold P. Brown, who was being secretly paid by Edison, built the first electric chair for the state of New York to promote the idea that alternating current was deadlier than DC.
When the chair was first used, on August 6, 1890, the technicians on hand misjudged the voltage needed to kill the condemned prisoner, William Kemmler. The first jolt of electricity was not enough to kill Kemmler, and only left him badly injured. The procedure had to be repeated and a reporter on hand described it as "an awful spectacle, far worse than hanging." George Westinghouse commented: "They would have done better using an axe."
In 1890, the Niagara Falls Power Company (NFPC) and its subsidiary Cataract Company formed the International Niagara Commission composed of experts, to analyze proposals to harness Niagara Falls to generate electricity. The commission was led by Sir William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) and included Eleuthère Mascart from France, William Unwin from England, Coleman Sellers from the US, and Théodore Turrettini from Switzerland. It was backed by entrepreneurs such as J. P. Morgan, Lord Rothschild, and John Jacob Astor IV. Among 19 proposals, they even briefly considered compressed air as a power transmission medium, but preferred electricity. But they could not decide which method would be best overall.
In 1893, NFPC was finally convinced by George Forbes to award the contract to Westinghouse, and to reject General Electric and Edison's proposal. Work began in 1893 on the Niagara Falls generation project: power was to be generated and transmitted as alternating current. The successful Niagara Falls system was a turning point in the acceptance of alternating current. AC replaced DC for central station power generation and power distribution, enormously extending the range and improving the safety and efficiency of power distribution. Edison's low-voltage distribution system using DC was superseded by AC devices proposed by others: primarily Tesla's polyphase systems.
Wow I wish we had learnt about things like this in History! All I remember was about WW1 & WW2. That's from High School anyway. I don't remember learning much about our own country which was a little annoying
Oh, btw I've put a new board up called 'Forensic Science & History'. You can post all your info there if you want
Yeah, I figured that was what you meant. I was just saying that I do teach high school. There are some things we have to teach, whether we want to or not. I never enjoy covering the battles of wars, for example.
There is a section for science and history but there are only 2 threads there for some reason. We could move this one there. I did realize that the premise of sunken ship of gold for the Confederate Treasure episode may have been based loosely on this: www.shipofgold.com/treasure.html
It's very likely that this murder case partially inspired the episode Dinosaur Fever, in addition to the well known rivalry between the paleontologists Marsh and Cope, mentioned in the episode. John White Webster wanted to display a $3000 mastodon skeleton at Harvard but he had gone into terrible debt to acquire it...
Lucy: Hi everyone! Welcome to the shoutbox. Leave messages here for everyone to read.
Jan 30, 2013 21:44:07 GMT
Lucy: I think it's a really good idea and I hope you all do too. Please can I stress that no spoilers are to be posted here but you may say how amazing the episodes were
Jan 30, 2013 21:44:55 GMT
shangas: KUNG HEY FATT CHOY!!!! **Lights firecrackers**
Feb 9, 2013 9:30:00 GMT
shangas: What do Peking Ducks play with on Chinese New Year? FIRE-QUACKERS!!
Feb 9, 2013 9:32:39 GMT
fundraiser: Bid on a walk-on, in full costume, and make-up, as well as lunch with the cast on Murdoch Mysteries.
Mar 19, 2013 0:09:53 GMT
fundraiser: Bid on a Tea with Maureen Jennings at The King Edward Hotel. Charity auction on eBay March 21-25th details www.luxuryandvintage.com Can find details at this site for Charity auction for walk-on on Murdoch Mysteries
Mar 19, 2013 0:10:57 GMT
CosmicCavalcade: Happy Hallowe'en my fellow Murdochians!
Oct 31, 2013 14:28:58 GMT
mrsbrisby: There is another series that might be cancelled. It is called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and it is produced in Australia. Please go to petition.org, enter the series name in the search box and fill out the petition. It is the only chance this show has
Jan 29, 2014 12:58:09 GMT
eus: How do i get a different avatar? I notice some people have stills from the show. How do you do that?
Apr 6, 2014 16:17:18 GMT
Ｅｇｏｔｉｓｔｉｃａｌ: Wow ... this is out of date ...
Jun 21, 2014 22:45:34 GMT
Ｅｇｏｔｉｓｔｉｃａｌ: BUT OMFG THIS IS FUN LETS ABUSE THE SHOUTBOX WHOOO
Jun 21, 2014 22:45:57 GMT
rdw69: Wanted – a summary of 11-1 after 9-25 for DVD-only viewers vs a 1 year wait.
Aug 31, 2017 11:30:50 GMT
whathaveyougeorge: Does anyone know when they actually tape at the Scarborough set? I live only 5 minutes from the set but have never been around when they are actually taping on set. I have HUGE Murdoch friends who would LOVE to at least see the set in action.
Aug 16, 2021 16:50:08 GMT