Pat Shingleton Column

Pat Shingleton: "A Sticky Weather Situation"

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Posted: Jan 12, 2014 12:09 PM by Pat Shingleton

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Topics: Molasses. Boston Daily Globe

Today marks the anniversary of "America's most fascinating and surreal disaster." On January 11, 1919, Boston's Daily globe reported that "a cold air mass settled in." The next morning, the mercury tumbled from 36 degrees to 20 at 2:00 pm to 7 degrees at 10:00 pm ;then 2 degrees. Crews from the ship. Miliero, pumped a half million gallons of molasses from its warm hold into tanks holding existing cold molasses causing a bubbling churn; vibrating the tank's walls. Workers reported the walls were groaning. This process activated fermentation, aided by a temperature rise to 50 degrees. The top of the 50 foot tank erupted, creating a 50 foot, 2 million gallon molasses wave that covered numerous streets and killed 21, injuring 150.

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