Capsized!: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster

by Patricia Sutton

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland was scheduled to deliver 2,500 passengers... read more

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland was scheduled to deliver 2,500 passengers from a port in the Chicago River to a Western Electric employee picnic on the shores of Michigan City, Indiana. Instead, the steamship capsized while still moored in Chicago, resulting in the deaths of 844 on board. Personal accounts following a number of Western Electric employees, their young children and crew members on board, as well as a nurse who aided the injured, relate minute- by-minute details of the disaster, including the bravery of many passengers and first responders. Possible causes of the accident and events that contributed to the tragic outcome are explored, from earlier close calls that had been ignored, to a problematic ballast system, to Harbormaster warnings that didn’t reach the captain. Photographs, diagrams, and extensive notes augment this compelling account of a little-known disaster that claimed more lives than the Titanic. (Ages 9–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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