At least it was new technology in 1889.
The Curious Dentist
In Buffalo, New York, a dentist named Alfred Southwick kept abreast of the latest developments concerning electricity. As a medical man, he thought electricity could be useful to him in his practice, perhaps as an anesthetic. When a Buffalo man stumbled into a generator at the city’s power plant and was electrocuted, Southwick got an idea; death from exposure to electricity, he thought, was an instantaneous, painless way to die. It could be adopted by the State as a replacement for hanging.