By Stephen Puleo
Almost immediately after midday on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall metal tank full of 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston"s waterfront, disgorging its contents as a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that in brief traveled at thirty-five miles consistent with hour. whilst the tide receded, a bit of the city"s North finish have been remodeled right into a struggle area. the nice Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one humans and ratings of animals, injured a hundred and fifty, and prompted common destruction.
But the molasses flood used to be greater than an remoted occasion. Its tale overlays America"s tale in the course of a tumultuous decade in our background. Tracing the period from the tank"s development in 1915 during the multiyear lawsuit that the tragedy, darkish Tide makes use of the drama of the flood to envision the sweeping alterations caused by way of international conflict I, Prohibition, the Anarchist circulation, the purple Scare, immigration, and the position of huge enterprise in society.
Stephen Puleo is a former award-winning newspaper reporter and now works in company public relatives within the Boston quarter. He has performed vast examine on Boston"s North finish, the place the molasses flood happened, and is a common contributor to American background journal. He lives within the Boston sector.
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Additional resources for Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
On the one hand, they were plagued by ﬂooding in their homes due to the absence of adequate drainage, while, on the other, they were hard-pressed to secure the clean water they needed to sustain even a minimal standard of decency. Although there was now a consensus that Boston had to do something about water, there was still no agreement as yet on the best source for a central water supply or on how it should be funded and managed. Among several options under discussion, there were two leading contenders.
First of all, the presence of ﬁsh in the pipes persisted. ” This was meant to be an amusing exaggeration, but the situation that prompted it was disconcerting and unacceptable. The ﬁsh were a minor inconvenience compared with Chicago water’s other defects. The river, which by this time was appallingly fouled by 42 Chapter Two slaughterhouses, distilleries, tanneries, tallow renderers, and soap and candle makers, was contaminating the water by the intake. ” Chicago’s new sewerage system—one of the ﬁrst in the nation, constructed in the mid-1850s to counter ﬂooding and cholera— made matters worse.
Other faults beset the system. The capacity of the storage tanks was too small—demand could exhaust them in half an hour. Meanwhile, the wooden pipes began to rot and leak. And, as the canal company’s owners predicted, the works cost far more than expected to build and operate. At the close of 1803, total costs were close to $300,000—and climbing. Meanwhile, revenues were meager. Far fewer Philadelphians had connected to the system than Latrobe had thought would do so. In spite of these problems and all the second-guessing they provoked, the need for the works was so great and the investment already made so considerable that there was no acceptable alternative.
Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo
Categories: American History