Molasses

Aftermath of the disaster


On January 15, 1919, the North End of Boston was flooded by 2 million gallons of molasses when a tank burst open. The 35 mph wave of molasses was two stories high, killing 21 and injuring 150. There were 3,000 witnesses who testified in the 6-year lawsuit against Boston. The smell of molasses remained for decades. It took over 87,000 man hours to clean up the aftermath (picture above).
"Molasses, waist deep, covered the street and swirled and bubbled about the wreckage. Here and there struggled a form — whether it was animal or human being was impossible to tell. Only an upheaval, a thrashing about in the sticky mass, showed where any life was.... Horses died like so many flies on sticky fly-paper. The more they struggled, the deeper in the mess they were ensnared. Human beings — men and women — suffered likewise."

Source: article by Edwards Park from Nov 1983 Smithsonian, "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919," and here.

  • Readers of my early blog may recognize this post from Oct 2007. I have re-posted this after being asked (and complying) to remove a source-link and remove a picture by two unrelated people. They said that I was "stealing bandwidth" and "playing havock with [their] visitor stats." Can someone please explain this to me?

11 comments:

AY@tes said...

A molasses flood? How come something cool like that doesn't happen around here. I'd be outside next to my mom with butter and bread having a snack.

On to your "notificatons": they were complaining because your blog is so awesome that everytime someone loads the picture it downloads from their site and they have to pay for it. As for messing up their stats, they're just dorks. Send me their sites and we'll flood them with requests until they think they're popular.

odd facts said...

Ego boost! Yay! It really made me go all villany and chuckle evilly in a darkened corner. As much as I appreciate it, I will have to pass this time. Good to know for the future though. *chuckles evilly*

Karen said...

hmmmm....interesting. I have never heard of this. I am trying to picture that "wave" of Molasses.

fishforcarp.com said...

Many thanks for removing the hotlink to my site, an explanation can be found here.
http://www.xentrik.net/htaccess/hotlinking.php
Many thanks again
John

satire and theology said...

Readers of my early blog may recognize this post from Oct 2007. I have re-posted this after being asked (and complying) to remove a source-link and remove a picture by two unrelated people. They said that I was "stealing bandwidth" and "playing havock with [their] visitor stats." Can someone please explain this to me?

Oh well, controversy usually does not hurt a blog, and it sometimes helps one receive more traffic.:)

That is incredible how much damage that molasses did!

odd facts said...

fishforcarp: Thanks for the link. I read it and it answered my questions. Thanks for being understanding.

i beati said...

I don't understand the controversy - never heard of this

Cooper said...

why didn't they just dump a whole bunch of butter, flour and eggs on it to make molasses cookies for the entire city???

Baba Doodlius said...

OK humans - read this story over and over again until you realize what it is like for a bird to be stuck in an oil spill.

Drowned in molasses - icky!

odd facts said...

Not to be morbid...I just wonder what was put on the gravestone of the people who died in the molasses. How would you break the news to a family member?

OpenYourEyes said...

ROTFLMAO

A, I love you.