Compiled by Adam Gaffin
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Yecch - The Great Molasses Flood
If you had to choose how to die, drowning in molasses would probably not rank high on your list. On Jan. 15, 1919, 21 people, a dozen horses and at least one cat had no choice. A 58-foot-high, 90-foot-wide cast-iron tank holding 2.2 million gallons of molasses burst, sending a tsunami of the viscous liquid down Commercial at 35 m.p.h., destroying houses, commercial buildings and a part of the elevated railroad.
Stand here and imagine a
Today, only a small plaque at the entrance to Puopolo Park commemorates the disaster. But climb up the terrace (which looks like a stone medieval rampart), look out over Commercial Street toward the harbor and imagine a three-story wall of molasses flowing past.
Dark Tide - Steven Puleo's book is the definitive work on the disaster and places it in its social and political context - in which the Powers that Be of the day were only too willing to blame anarchists instead of shoddy construction.
The Molasses Flood of January 15, 1919 - A very detailed account from Yankee Magazine, 1/65.
The Great Boston Molasses Disaster - Still more.