Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Eastland Disaster

Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the S.S. Eastland disaster. I was told that more people died in the Eastland's capsizing in the Chicago River than died on the Titanic.

That's not true. 1517 people lost their lives on the Titanic. 844 people died on the Eastland.

The Titanic ruined, or at least started the downfall, of J. Pierpont Morgan.

SS Eastland, courtesy wikipedia

The SS Eastland, on the other hand, ruined no one's life except for those that drowned... and their friends and loved ones.

As it happens, members of the group outing were employees of Western Electric. Supposedly, my grandfather, then aged 11, was to be on the trip with his family, in which case, dear reader, you would not be reading this.

That's not true either. In fact, none of my family who worked for Western Electric was able to go. They were all up at Long Lake escaping the city heat.

Western Electric was one of the most progressive companies of its time. They partially owned Bell Labs.

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