View Full Version : Molasses tank explodes in Boston

01-16-2009, 06:20 AM
1919: Molasses tank explodes in Boston
A tank containing more than two million gallons of molasses exploded at the landing wharf of the Puritan Distillery Company in Boston today, destroying the wharf building and several other structures within 400 feet. A wave of molasses flowing at 35 miles per hour and reaching over eight feet deep rushed through the streets with enough force to break the girders of the nearby elevated railway. The disaster killed 21 people and injured about 150.

"Hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses flew into the air and the streets are ankle deep with the thick liquid," reported the Warren Evening Times on January 15, 1919. "North End Park became a lake of molasses through which the shocked and injured workmen staggered seeking place of safety. Flaming timbers were shot into the air."

NOTE: The explosion was thought to have been caused by increased carbon dioxide generated from the fermenting molasses, which expanded until the tank burst. "During the cold weather the molasses is subjected to a gentle heat which caused generation of the gas," further explained the Warren Evening Times.

Acknowledgment to- "Newspaper Archives" for this Article.


captain kong
01-16-2009, 09:53 PM

What a clean up that must have been eh?