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Molasses Flood 1919

Posted by Josh Childs  January 14, 2013 01:16 PM

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molasses 2.jpg

Photo from Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
Tag 10062005 Globe West 1,2,3

94 years ago, January 15, 1919, was a tragic day in the North End.
Back then, the area was heavily industrialized- packed with people and a 2.3 million gallon cast-iron tank fifty feet above street level was not out of place. The tank was full of molasses, often used as a sweetener, but in this case (and applicable to this blog), it had been slated by the United States Industrial Alcohol Company for rum production.
Unseasonably warm weather that day after near zero temperatures days before may have contributed to the disaster; just after lunch time the tank ruptured spilling the entire deadly, sticky stuff onto Commercial Street in a 30 foot wave- 21 people were killed, 150 injured.

We tend not to forget in Boston; some say on warm days in the North End you can still smell molasses.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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