2 million gallons of molasses wreaked havoc in Boston in 1919


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/12/2-million-gallons-of-molasses.html


#2

There’s an excellent cocktail, invented here in Boston, called a 1919 which is named after the Great Boston Molasses Disaster: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/2008/11/1919-cocktail.html


#3

My brain is not quite awake yet. I managed to get halfway through the title and think “What? again? Why do they have that much molasses these days? … oh 1919”


#4

That was a sticky situation.


#5

But what a sweet way to go.

Too soon?


#6

Podcast says that the initial wave was a 160-foot wide wall, 25 feet high.

I would love to see live footage of somebody walking down the street just beforehand, munching a piece of banana bread, saying something like, “Goddammit, this banana bread really needs something to counterpoint all this vanilla!”… boom… etc.


#7

A sloth, three turtles, and a snail perished.


#8

Was it in January?

Edit: Yes it was…

The expression is an American idiom for something that is painfully slow. Its history is related to the Great Molasses Flood on 15th January, 1919. It was a balmy 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) in Boston when the Great Molasses Flood happened on Wednesday, January 15, 1919 .

Edit2: Not necessarily from the flood… “Slow as molasses in January” was already part of the American idioms delight in the late 1800’s


#9


#10

Congrats. You have broken Boston’s cardinal rule.


#11

Molasses added a little something to beantown

like the great wiz wit geysers of colonial Philadelphia, now honored by the local street delicacy


#12

There was such a molasses shortage the people of Providence had to switch to coffee syrup.


#13

We had one of these recently; lots of death. An ours was only 1/10 the size:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/09/12/221709158/massive-molasses-spill-devastates-honolulu-marine-life


#14

Some people claim that you can still smell the remnants of the molasses on hot summer days. I imagine it probably smells as bad as any city does in the heat.


#15

They should keep that in mind the next time Godzilla attacks Japan. It’s hard to use radiation breath with a mouthful of molasses.


#16

“A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150.”

No joke.


#17

In the UK we learn more towards alcohol.


#18

Boston Molassacre!


#19

This event was actually included in Alan Moore’s latest comic epic, Providence, which blends all of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories and characters into one Moorian universe of insanity. The Boston Molasses disaster is capitalized on by a bunch of ghouls who basically view their sugar-covered victims as a surprise dessert treat.

I daresay it’s the greatest comic Moore has written in a while, currently on issue #11 out of 12.


#20

It really wreaks.