Tags: 1915 | chicago | shipwreck | footage | found

1915 Chicago Shipwreck Footage Found Sandwiched Between Other Clips

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:04 PM

A grad student searching through film archives has uncovered the only known footage of the 1915 Chicago shipwreck of the SS Eastland that killed 844 people.

Jeff Nichols, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Illinois at Chicago, was researching Dutch digitized newsreels online when he discovered the footage of the Eastland was sandwiched between other news clips in the website’s archive.

"If you look at the news reels, it's mostly war news, trivial news, local news," Nichols told the Chicago Tribune. "It's European news, and then you see the title card for the Eastland."

Nichols posted links to the Eastland Disaster Historical Society’s Facebook page to let them know the footage existed.

“Since founding the Eastland Disaster Historical Society 17 years ago, we had always felt that video footage existed somewhere, but were never able to locate it,” the society wrote on its website. “These two short video clips are the first that EDHS has seen, and likely, the first that the public has seen of the Eastland Disaster as well.”

The first clip shows people walking on the overturned hull of the ship, attempting to rescue survivors, while the second clip taken weeks later and shows efforts to turn the ship over so that it would rest on its hull.

The SS Eastwood overturned July 24, 1915, carrying 2,500 people to the fifth annual Western Electric employee picnic. It was one of five boats carrying about 7,000 people to the event.

“The Eastland, docked at the Clark Street Bridge, never left the Chicago River,” the EDHS site said. “Tragedy struck as the ship rolled over into the river at the wharf's edge. More than 2,500 passengers and crew members were on board that day — and 844 people lost their lives, including 22 entire families.”

A 100th commemoration event of the Eastland disaster is planned for July 24-26 in Chicago.

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A grad student searching through film archives has uncovered the only known footage of the 1915 Chicago shipwreck of the SS Eastland that killed 844 people.
1915, chicago, shipwreck, footage, found
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2015-04-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:04 PM
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