America's Excellent Electric Chairs
Sizzlin'! Just don't get too fried before you visit America's Glamorous Gas Chambers, too!
- New Mexico's First and Only Electric Chair
- New Jersey's Electric Chair - Old Smokey
- Old Sparky, Lone Star of Texas
- Sing Sing Replica Chair -- built by prisoners!
- Two E-Chairs for Arkansas, including Old Sparky
- West Virginia's Old Sparkie - the work of one helpy helperton convict.
- Replica of Florida's Electric Chair
- Souped-up Sing Sing chair, Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum
This museum actually doesn't have anything to do with the Santa Fe Trail; its just another collection of dull local junk. "We named it the Sante Fe Trail Museum because the Trail runs close to Springer," explained Bertha Chavez, the museum's curator. However, the museum does have two displays of note: New Mexico's first and only electric chair (complete with a battered glamour mannequin about to be fried) and a "shoe of a giant" -- a brown wingtip that once belonged to Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man. How did that get out here?
Opened in 1989, the Texas Prison Museum offers a display of makeshift weapons, treasures like Clyde Barrow's carbine, a mock jail cell, and "Old Sparky", the electric chair that fried 361 men between 1924 and 1964. Art and crafts created by inmates are displayed. Of particular interest: "Old Sparky" was hand-made by some incarcerated craftsmen, and was built sturdily enough to outlive all its occupants and a stint in the prison dump. It was recovered and donated to the museum. The entire collection, once housed in a cramped old bank building, moved in late 2002 to a 10,000 square foot facility off I-45 northwest of Huntsville, near the Wynne Prison Unit.