Common section

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-"Oh my God!" he shouted to the other men, "Run!"

A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

Prologue: Isaac’s Demons

Part One: A Monster in Our Midst

Chapter 1. Deadline on the Waterfront

Chapter 2. Neighborhood Weeping

Chapter 3. Along the Gulf Stream

Chapter 4. War and Anarchy

Chapter 5. Heavy Load

Part Two: Waves of Terror

Chapter 6. Before …

Chapter 7. Engulfed!

Chapter 8. “I Am Prepared to Meet my God”

Chapter 9. Darkening Skies

Part Three: David vs. Goliath

Chapter 10. “One of the Worst Catastrophes”

Chapter 11. Factor of Safety

Chapter 12. “A Sordid Story”

Epilogue

Bibliographic Essay