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From: Lessons learned from the cold storage fire at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 By: Andy Pearson, PHD

The World’s Columbian Exposition also known as the Chicago World fair, was started near the end of the nineteenth century. Chicago was chosen to host the fair over Washington D.C and St. Louis. The fair came with high expectations for America. It was originally made to put America on the map so that it would be noticed as a nation by the rest of the world by showing off the country’s achievements furthermore making America to be noticed as an international power. Some items that America is most recognised for this very day were first introduced at the fair including the hamburger, Hershey chocolate, and Juicy Fruit. The Farris Wheel was designed and first introduced at the fair as well and ever since was recognised as the international symbol for the fair and fairs to come. One major problem that came for the fair was the expectation to feed the 175,000 daily spectators that visited daily and how the food would be properly stored and frozen. In solution to this problem was the erection of a large on-site cold storage facility to store the food. The building was five stories tall and was powered by boilers that drove the amonia compressors that were designed to chill the food. During construction problems had already begun to arise. while constructing the boiler room several fires occurred all during one month which in turn resulted in the cancellation of most insurance policies. After investigations the fires were to believed to be the cause of some corners being cut and protection systems never being installed, despite a warning to the construction company afterwards the systems were still never properly constructed. As a result, on the afternoon of July the tenth 1893 a fire was spotted appearing from the smokestack


of the facility. all nearby fire stations responded to the fire and climbed the tower to the top using boards they had nailed into the walls as a ladder. shortly after the firemen reached the top fire broke out at the base of the tower and consumed the boards and ropes that the men used to pull up hoses and supplies. With no escape route the firemen were left with no choice but to jump to the ground from sixty feet in the air resulting in their deaths while only a few survived with major dramatic injuries. The fire of the cold storage facility was recognised as the most tragic event in the fair’s history.

From: 1904 World’s Fair train wreck, By: Unknown The Worlds Columbian Exposition also known as The Chicago Worlds Fair, is still to this day and throughout history known as one of the most popular yearly tourist attractions. The fair is internationally recognised and and attended by spectators from all over the world who come to see the latest developments and exciting things from all different countries and cultures as well as that of America. Tourists and spectators travel from far and wide to see the fair. From the use of Trains and Ferries in the past to the present use of trains, automobiles and airplanes. One tragedy in the history of spectators traveling to see the fair occured in 1904 when most of the transportation was by that of the train. The accident happened on the morning of October tenth 1904 at 4:10am when


two trains collided head-on around deadman’s curve in Missouri, one of which was carrying passengers to the World’s Fair. The wreck launched major investigations and resulted in most of the safety precautions in train travel we see today.


Kirk Kempe- Article Comparison final draft

The World’s Columbian Exposition also known as the Chicago world fair, begun near the beginning of the nineteenth century and was a marvel of its time. The fair came with high expectations for the United States of America as they believed that the fair would be an fantastic opportunity to showcase the country’s latest achievements and to recognise the country as a power among the world. Many great concoctions and Inventions still seen today had begun their journey at the world fair including Hershey's, Juicy Fruit, the Hamburger and even the Ferris wheel. In the articles of Lessons learned from the cold storage fire at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 By Andy Pearson, and Train To Tragedy By Jeff Joiner, the authors describe a couple tragic events of the Chicago World’s Fair and the repercussions and improvements to safety precautions that took place as a result. Andy Pearson explains how one new expansion of the fair was that of a cold storage facility to be erected on-site. And as of every other building in the fairgrounds the facility was built to be an exhibit as well. The technology used in the facility at the time was believed to be cutting edge and as a result The building was designed to be able to showcase the new technology. The Facility also was to include a smoking parlor and lounge as well as an ice skating rink on the upper level. The cold storage was powered by two central boilers that would energise ammonia compressors to distribute ammonia through pipes around the building. The Facility never reached its opening due to a fire that occurred in July 1893. On that day fire was seen plumbing out of one of the


smokestacks of the building. Several fire departments arrived on scene but despite insistive remarks of onlookers of there being a fire in the lower part of the tower as well, firefighter proceed to the rooftop to engage the fire in the smokestacks. While on the roof the fire engulfed the bottom of the tower, blocking the firemen from any means of escape. This Incident resulted in the firefighters having to leap from the tower killing most and severely injuring only a few. Jeff Joiner described a train carrying passengers to the fair from kentucky as well as a freight train on the same path that was set on a small diversion track off to the side and was told to allow four trains to pass before continuing. The last of these four trains that were set to pass was the one in route to the fair. While waiting the freight train’s crew had fallen asleep. Upon awakening they were unaware of how many of the four trains had passed and decided to proceed down the tracks anyways. Just before the accident occurred the freight train was seen speeding through a town. The town’s railway attendant noticed the problem and notified the attendant in the next town to stop the train using the words, “There’s going to be a wreck!”. However, in this era there were no forms of direct communication to trains and the wreck was inevitable. The two trains collided at 4:09 am around an dangerous curve known as “dead mans curve” in Missouri. The accident resulted in a high number of fatalities. Both of these accidents have gone down in the history of the fair as only a couple of the worst tragedies to occur. While at the same time they helped pave the way for new technological advancements and safety precautions. they also very well helped transform how investigations on similar disasters are performed. Andy Pearson explained that after many investigations of the fire it was believed that


the most probable cause was that of the construction company cutting corners to save cost of materials. Despite the fact that a month before the tragic fire several others had occurred in the boiler room. The fire that resulted in many tragic deaths could have been prevented if the company had installed the safeguards they were warned to install after the first fires in june. This simple fact helped shape the way investigations are done as we see today, as well as building codes and regulations and the way that newer cold storage units are designed. The trainwreck was investigated and although no crewmember of the freight train was charged for the accident two of the brakemen were however charged with stealing money and valuables off the bodies of the passengers who perished in the wreck. After the wreck the railways worked to help better their track systems and the way that the trains communicate with each other and the proper attendants in their regions.


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