The Molasses Tsunami

Totally fascinating. Another reason to avoid sugar 🙂

historywithatwist

The devastation wrought by the Great Molasses Flood The devastation wrought by the Great Molasses Flood

In 1919, there occurred an accident so strange and so devastating that, as I learned about it, I was stunned into silence for a few moments while I scratched my head and tried to figure out how the hell that could happen.

On the afternoon of January 15 in that year, the citizens of Boston’s North End were gong about their business when they felt a rumble, followed by a huge crash and then the machine-gun rattle of thousands of rivets as they began to pop.

It wasn’t an earthquake that was about to befall the neighbourhood but a tsunami, courtesy of the Purity Distilling Company.

A five-storey-high metal tank, measuring 50ft x 90ft had split open, releasing a wall of molasses. Patrolman Frank McManus was there to witness it. He called in the report from a police call box: “Send all…

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