January 15, 1919

A rapid rise in air temperature caused a molasses storage tank to rupture at the Purity Distilling Co. in Boston, MA. 2.5 million gallons of mollases were released and poured out of the tank in 8 to 15 foot waves. The mollases rushed down streets at speeds of 35 mph and a force of 2 tons per square foot. Buidlings and cars in the area were crushed by the force. 21 people were molassassed to death and an additional 150 were injured.

You can still see the stains on some walls near where the incident happened that denote the top molasses level. A friend who lived in the North End had a problem related to this; one day, after living in her apartment for perhaps four years with no problems, she came home to find her ceiling paint bubbling and peeling all across her apartment. Upon investigating, she found that molasses was dripping from the ceiling, wrecking the paint and naturally her furniture. She couldn't figure out how molasses had gotten all over her ceiling, though. After consulting with her landlord as well as a neighborhood historian, she found that the floor above hers had been subject to a 'mini-molasses flood' some forty years before. Apparently, the molasses had taken forty years to finally seep through the beams and planks of the floor (her ceiling), but seep through it did. The speed of the seepage was so consistent that pretty much her whole ceiling started to weep molasses on the same day.

They couldn't remove the boards, because it was a historic building. So they had to simply remove her furniture and wait the two weeks it took for the seepage to subside before cleaning up.

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