Why Did Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia Use An Electric Chair As a Throne?

Menelek II, who called himself the “king of kings,” became emperor of Ethiopia in 1889.

A year later, word reached Ethiopia of the first use of an electric chair to execute a criminal, in Auburn, New York. Menelek decided that his country, too, should have an electric chair, and he ordered three of the new devices.

There was one problem about the king’s purchase, Ethiopia had no electricity at the time. So after Menelek received his electric chairs, he converted one of them into a throne!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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