The Mob Museum will unveil its newest exhibit, the execution chair from Nevada’s gas chamber, which is on loan from the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nevada.
Nevada was the first state to execute criminals using lethal gas. In fact, it was the first jurisdiction in the world to do so. Its last gas chamber, built in 1951, was about 10 feet by 10 feet and was modeled on California’s gas chamber at San Quentin. It contained two identical metal chairs bolted to the floor. Each chair had slots and brackets through which leather straps were inserted to hold down the prisoner. Cyanide gas released into the chamber deprived the condemned prisoner of oxygen, killing him in minutes.
Nevada executed a total of 32 people in its gas chamber through 1983, when the state switched to lethal injection as its method of execution. Lethal injection is the most common method of execution in the United States today.