The Great Molasses Flood of 1919

By: Reymond Salazar

it could have been stopped

Hot, sweet, and gooey molasses. Something people used for food, bombs, and munitions. But on January 15, it had a different way to kill. January 15 was the day of the molasses flood of 1919.


It was a unusually hot day at Boston Harbor, which was thriving with ships and kids playing on the pier. the United States Industrial Alcohol Company (USIA) had recently bought a building called the Purity Distilling in 1917. Because molasses could be used for a variety of different ways, the USIA took advantage of that. To be changed, molasses needed to be combined with alcohol to be used as bombs and munitions. because of the mass of molasses they were receiving, they had very hastily built a tanker to hold the molasses. it took them about 1 month to build it, when it should of took them 2-3 months.


One story of a survivor of the flood was a boy named Anthony Di Stasio. on that day, Anthony was walking home with his sisters from school, when they heard the sound of gunshots. but it wasn't gunfire. the screws in the tanker where shooting out of the tanker as fast as a machine gun. and then, the flood commenced. a 25 foot wave of molasses was crashing through the harbor and neighborhood near the harbor.Anthony and his sisters where swept up by the wave. Anthony was throw at a light pole and was knocked out. when the flood was over, a firefighter found Anthony and thought he was dead. The firefighter then carried his body where the dead where and laid him down. he re-gain consciousness and heard his family calling his name. he opened his mouth to call to them, but his mouth was full of molasses.


in all, 21 people where killed and 150 where injured.