Boston's Great Molasses Flood Of January 1919

Discussion in 'History & Geography' started by Joe Riley, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    You've heard the expression about a person being as slow "as molasses in January".....Boston's Great Molasses Flood of January 1919, proved that to be false. Turns out it's faster than you might think. A tank holding 2 million gallons of molasses burst.
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    "On January 15, 1919, Boston suffered one of history’s strangest disasters: a devastating flood of molasses. The “Great Molasses Flood” tore through the North End and deposited so much gooey residue that locals claimed they could still smell the molasses on warm days decades later. Let’s take a look at this odd, tragic story".

    "The human cost of the disaster was even grimmer. The wave of molasses moved so quickly and so forcefully that anyone who was unlucky enough to be in its way didn’t stand much of a chance. They were either knocked over and crushed or drowned in the goo. The flood claimed 21 lives, and another 150 people suffered injuries. Any flood would have been disastrous, but the viscous nature of molasses made rescue attempts even trickier. Medics and police officers arrived on the scene quickly but had to slog through waist-deep goo to reach victims".

    "Investigators soon found the real culprit, though: absurdly shoddy construction work. The company had been in such a hurry to get the tank built back in 1915 that it didn’t cut corners so much as it ignored the corners completely.Modern studies have found that the tank walls were both too thin and made of a steel that was too brittle to withstand the volume of molasses. The man who oversaw the construction wasn’t an engineer or an architect; in fact, he couldn’t even read a blueprint. The tank needed to be an engineering marvel to hold all that weight, but the company never even consulted an engineer on the project. Basically, it threw up a gigantic tank as quickly and cheaply as possible, skimped on inspections and safety tests, and hoped for the best".
     
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