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The Long And Short Of It: Boston’s Great Molasses Flood

I’m pleased and proud to announce that there’s another history video on my YouTube channel! It’s a sordid story about a failure in industrial regulation and the people who were killed by that failure. The central incident is bizarre, but the causes and the outcome are sadly still relevant today.
Here’s our tale: “The Long And Short Of It: Boston’s Great Molasses Flood.” Please see below for notes.

This video was written, researched, and presented by April Grant, and filmed, researched, and edited by Dan Thurston.
There are no gory images, but please be aware that I give detailed descriptions of a number of people’s deaths in an industrial accident.

Our sources include:

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, by Stephen Puleo. This is the best and best-known published popular history of the Molasses Flood; most of the information I present in this video came from Dark Tide. To buy a copy, please see Stephen Puleo’s website at
Many of the images used in this video are available to the public on the City of Boston Archives:
The most comprehensive primary source on the Molasses Flood is the forty-volume transcript of the “Dorr Vs. Industrial Alcohol” hearings. I have not read all forty volumes; I’ve read the lines quoted in “Dark Tide,” plus a little bit on my own initiative. The volumes are housed at the Social Law Library in Boston, MA, and have been partly digitized in recent years. I visited recently and read a small fraction of the transcript, in both digital and paper format, and would like to thank the reference staff for their assistance. In particular, Jessica Pisano Jones, Brian J. Harkins, and Andrew Hyland have been unfailingly kind and gone out of their way to respond to my inquiries. For more on the Social Law Library, please see their website: