The Great Molasses Flood

Boston, 1919

Kops, Deborah

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Great Molasses Flood
An account of the January 1919 molasses tank explosion in Boston, Massachusetts, seeks to uncover why the tank blew up and who was to blame through primary sources and archival photographs that show the extent of the damage.

Publisher: Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, c2012
ISBN: 9781580893480
Branch Call Number: J 363.17 K
Characteristics: x, 102 p. : ill., map ; 26 cm.


From Library Staff

What do you get when 13,000 tons of molasses meet the streets of Boston? A sticky situation.

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Mar 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Really, as bizarre moments in American history go, this one’s tough to beat. It sounds on paper like a cut scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but was instead a massive horrific event that no one would ever want to live through. Definitely a book worth consulting from time to time, and kids will enjoy the pictures and the individual stories. Maybe some of the more technical details will appeal to only a few, but overall this is a title worth talking up, worth discovering. History was never quite this weird.


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Mar 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


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Mar 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

January 15, 1919 was an unseasonably warm day. Forty-three degrees if you can believe it. And folks were just going about their workday as usual. Then, at 12:40 in the afternoon, the strangest thing occurred. The molasses tank, located next to Boston Harbor and the train yard, burst wide open. Instantly 2,319,525 gallons of molasses spilled onto the streets, lifting homes, destroying elevated train tracks, and ultimately killing 21 people and wounding countless others. A 40-foot wave of molasses makes a mark, and when all was said and done folks had to figure out who was to blame. Was it an act of terrorism (anarchists were in full swing so this wasn’t a crazy theory) or the fault of the tank? Whatever it was, it was an event that lasted long in the memories of those involved, even after the sticky sweet smell had faded.


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The Great Molasses Flood
Kops, Deborah
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