The " humming bird " torture is evident, for the 1908 report of the mmittee appointed to investigate the state institutions of Illinois has this to say of the Chester penitentiary : " The electric battery, or ' humming bird ', punishment is not a figment of the imagination, but was a potent factor in subduing prisoners at one time. The cominittee realizes that the handling of convicts is a difficult problem, and one that should make one hesitate to hastily criticise the management. It, however, feels that the use of an electric battery for this purpose is too dangerous and is too liable to encourage abuse and cruel treatment to be used, and feels that it should not be tolerated. It is understood that it is no longer used for the purpose of punishment, although the presence of a powerful battery is liable to tempt its use. It it be discarded." From the delicate wording of the protest it is conjectured that none of is suggested that the rotestants had ever undergone this particular form of discipline.
Chained in a metal tank the victim is tortured with electricity,
until his muscles cord and he faints.