Start your review of Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of Write a review Shelves: history , best-titles-everrr , natural-disaster , natural-disaster-themed I couldnt help but be incredulous about a molasses flood. I was doing research into what books I wanted to read for my Winter Disaster Read, which I originally intended to be about natural disasters, but quickly morphed into disasters in general, and I stumbled across this book. Lo and behold a week later it went onto the Kindle Daily Deal and I snatched it up. Its almost like Amazon knew eyes dart back and forth quickly.
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Pausing to figure out the source, he suddenly found himself overcome with shock. A massive, foot-high steel tank holding the molasses had ruptured. People in its direct path were immediately swallowed, drowned and asphyxiated by the notoriously viscous substance. Within seconds, two city blocks were flooded. The brown wave busted windows, overturned railcars and flooded homes.
By sunset, 21 people were dead, were injured and the North End looked like it had been bombed. Sailors helping with the rescue after the Great Boston Molasses Flood in Nicole Sharp, a science communicator and an expert in fluid dynamics, said that when she heard the mph number, she was surprised. Sharp decided to look into the science behind the flood, along with a team of scientists at Harvard.
The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings. The tank, piled so high with molasses, stored a large amount of potential energy. When the tank ruptured, all that potential energy became kinetic energy. The inertia is so much more powerful than the forces that can be moved by the viscosity.
Many survivors had broken backs and fractured skulls. As molasses flooded the streets, it slowed but became thicker and stickier, and still difficult to escape. People were trapped, with witnesses described trying to breathe while stuck, gasping for their lives and simultaneously trying to avoid inhaling too much.
Cold weather made things worse. It was also a problem for rescuers who were trying to lift people out of the molasses. Firefighters had to spread ladders over it to prevent themselves from falling into sticky vats that were once streets. The firehouse after the Great Boston Molasses Flood in The tank stored molasses from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the West Indies, which was then brought to a distillery in East Cambridge and turned into industrial alcohol.
Companies in the U. Puleo explains in his book that the project was rushed from the beginning. Instead of filling the entire tank with water after it was finished to test for leaks, he only put in six inches of water. Profits from the war were pouring in as steadily as molasses was leaking out of the tank. In , in an effort to shield the leaks and avoid costly fixes, Jell even had the steel-colored tank painted brown, to camouflage the oozing molasses.
Puleo said that seven days before the flood, on a day with a low of 2 degrees Fahrenheit, a new shipment dumped more than half a million gallons of molasses into the poorly built tank. As warm molasses from the ship mixed with cold molasses in the tank, it triggered a fermentation process that produced gas.
People reported hearing the tank whining and groaning. A week later, with the almost-full tank weighing 26 million pounds and the gas inside putting extra pressure on the steel walls, it ruptured. Damage from the Great Boston Molasses Flood in Sharp has a more abstract take. Much of the area flooded by molasses is now in Langone Park, where a small plaque hangs to commemorate the tragedy.
The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 killed 21 after 2 million gallon tank erupted
Twenty-one people were killed and dozens more were injured. Boston Globe Archive Hollywood has made movies starring all manner of disasters, from rogue tornadoes and invading aliens to giant solar flares that fry the earth. But what sounds like a B movie directed by Roger Corman is no joke: Twenty-one people died and dozens more were badly injured. The gooey byproduct of refined sugarcane was much in demand during World War I because it could be converted to industrial alcohol, a critical ingredient in the manufacture of munitions. In , the Purity Distilling Company had built a holding tank some feet tall on Commercial Street, choosing the location for its proximity to Boston Harbor — molasses arrived from Puerto Rico and points south — and to the nearby railroad tracks that shuttled the sugary ooze to the manufacturing plant in Cambridge. The result was predictable.
The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 was Boston’s strangest disaster
Molasses can be fermented to produce ethanol, the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages and a key component in munitions. Witnesses reported that they felt the ground shake and heard a roar as it collapsed, a long rumble similar to the passing of an elevated train ; others reported a tremendous crashing, a deep growling, "a thunderclap-like bang! Stephen Puleo describes how nearby buildings were swept off their foundations and crushed. Here and there struggled a form—whether it was animal or human being was impossible to tell. Horses died like so many flies on sticky fly-paper. The more they struggled, the deeper in the mess they were ensnared. Human beings—men and women—suffered likewise.
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Pausing to figure out the source, he suddenly found himself overcome with shock. A massive, foot-high steel tank holding the molasses had ruptured. People in its direct path were immediately swallowed, drowned and asphyxiated by the notoriously viscous substance. Within seconds, two city blocks were flooded. The brown wave busted windows, overturned railcars and flooded homes. By sunset, 21 people were dead, were injured and the North End looked like it had been bombed. Sailors helping with the rescue after the Great Boston Molasses Flood in