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New York Times..Disasters
20 November 1904
NEW YORK HOTTEST CITY IN AMERICA
No Deaths Reported, but List of Prostrations is Long. Mortality in Brooklyn.
Heat Increases Death Rate to Unusual Degree-Thousands make their Escape from
According to the records and reports of the Weather Bureau, New York
was the hottest city in the United States yesterday. A new high Mark was
established for this year in the city, when at 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon
93 degrees was reached. The heat of the day was death dealing and there were
more prostrations than during all of the other hot days of the season.
Deaths due to the heat reported in Brooklyn were:
GRAPSKY, OKKAH, 5 days old, of 81 North Fourth Street.
HUGHES, CATHERINE, 15 months old, of 73 North Fourth Street.
LADRANO, MAMIE, 22 days old, 188 Hamilton Avenue.
MARRYATT, MRS. JENNY, 80 years old, of 464 Herkimer Street.
UNKNOWN CHILD, about 5 years old, found dead at 216 Stone Avenue.
The prostrations reported to the police were confined to Manhattan,
though but few of those who applied at the hospitals for relief after being
overcome were reported. Those whose names the police have are:
ACCARDI, ANTONIO M., 27 years old, of 37 Morrell Street, Brooklyn.
Overcome at Pier 34 North River and removed to Roosevelt Hospital.
BARNEY, OWEN, 50 years old, of 342 East Fifty-fifth Street. Overcome at the
approach to the new Blackwell's Island Bridge. Attended by a Presbyterian
Hospital ambulance surgeon and removed to his home.
BRENNAN, THOMAS 32 years old, of 600 West Forty-fifth Street. Overcome at
Forty-third Street and Tenth Avenue and removed to Roosevelt Hospital.
BROWN, ANNIE, 22 years old, of 42 East Fifty-eighth Street. Overcome at
285 Broadway and removed to the Hudson Street Hospital.
CASSIDY, JOSEPH, 32 years old, of 200 East Twentieth Street. Overcome at
207 Pearl Street and removed to the Hudson Street Hospital.
HARNETT, MABEL H. 28 years old, of 59 Dowling Street. Overcome at Clark
Street and Boston Avenue and removed to Fordham Hospital.
HALLIHAN, H., 58 years old, of 502 West Forty-seventh Street. Overcome at
651 West Thirty-ninth Street and removed to Roosevelt Hospital.
MARTIN, MICHAEL 34 Years old, of 7 East One Hundred and Twelfth Street.
Overcome at the foot of East Thirtieth Street and removed to Bellevue
NAVATURY, MRS. AMY, 40 years old, of 510 East Eighty-second Street.
Overcome at Eighty-second Street and East End Avenue and removed to the
ORTH, ERNEST, 69 years old, of 2283 Seventh Avenue. Overcome on a car at
Sixtieth Street and Central Park West and removed to Roosevelt Hospital.
PALMER, JOHN, 19 years old, of 655 Courtlandt Avenue, Bronx. Overcome
while at work on elevated structure at Fifty-ninth Street and Third Avenue
and removed to the Flower Hospital.
SAVOLASK, WASYLE, 50 years old, of 222 East Seventy-fifth Street. Overcome
while working on a building at Eighty-second Street and Avenue A. and
removed to the Presbyterian Hospital.
SPITZER, REGINA, 17 years old, of 1646 Madison Avenue. Overcome on a car
at Thirty-ninth Street and Third Avenue. Attended by hospital surgeon and
removed to her home.
WELCH, JAMES, 28 years old, of Douglasston, L.I. Overcome at 262 Pearl
Street and removed to his home in an ambulance.
The Manhattan Bureau of Vital Statistics has made no report yet on the
effect of the intense heat of the past few days on the death rate in the
city, but Dr. Byrne, the Superintendent of the Brooklyn Bureau, said
yesterday that the heat was the cause of an almost three fold increase in
the death rate of that borough. The death rate of Brooklyn when normal is 71
a day. During the twenty-four hours between noon on Monday and noon
yesterday 180 deaths were reported.
Throughout the city the special Summer physicians employed by the
Board of Health to look after the children of the poor in the crowded
sections had an extremely hard day's work. The city is divided into
sections, to each of which certain men are assigned to visit every family
and give medical assistance wherever it is needed. Many of the private and
public charitable organizations have given assistance to the Board of Health
in the work of saving the children, but even with this aid the work was
On the east side last night the heat in the big tenements was
unbearable, and the residents there vacated their homes early in the
evening. The small parks were overrun, and many of the people went to the
recreation piers. In the parks, the people disregarded the "Keep off the
Grass" signs, and many stretched out on the green lawns to spend the night
there. All along the water front the stringpieces were occupied. In the
streets of the east side the children in many cases ran half naked. The roof
of every tenement was used for sleeping, while every fire-escape bore
The public baths, stationed along the waterfront, were, too, the
centres of attraction for thousands of men and boys yesterday. Policemen had
to be stationed at the entrances of each one to keep the crowds in order.
Many of the boys, tired of waiting, went to the end of adjoining piers and
peeled off and went overboard. The sport was pursued without molestation by
the police. Inside the baths the scene was everywhere confusion. Those in
the water made no attempts to leave, and as the crowds continued to pour in
the pools became so crowded that there was little room to swim.
Coney Island, Rockaway, the Staten Island and beaches, Glen Island,
and the other seaside resorts were all crowded early in the day. Every train
and boat going from the city was packed with heat-fearing people. Wherever
there was bathing there was a crowd.
Last night the Coney Island beach was crowded by people who took
advantage of the permission of the Brooklyn Park Commissioner to sleep on
the sands. Whole families spent the night there, and at mid-night the beach
presented the appearance of an army sleeping, the big policemen, like
sentries pacing back and forth, seeing that nothing ill befell any of the
sleepers. The mosquitoes were more troublesome than the police used to be.
After the day's heat of Monday the thermometer subsided somewhat and a
cool, relieving breeze started up. At 4 o'clock yesterday morning there was
a suggestion of chill, but an hour later, when the sun was looking over the
city, the thermometer began to rise, jumping rapidly until 8 o'clock, when
it reached 76 degrees. The wind then was from the northwest, blowing at
seven miles an hour, while the humidity was below the normal. By 10 o'clock
the mercury in the tube had gone 7 degrees higher, and by noon it reached
88. Gradually, one degree an hour, it mounted to 4 o'clock, and during the
next half hour it made its record for the year.
During the evening it went down again several degrees but the wind
fell to 5 miles an hour and little relief was to be had. About 6 o'clock
black clouds swept across the district very far down town, accompanied by a
brisk breeze. Relief in the form of rain was then in sight, but an hour
later the sky was exasperatingly clear.
5 November 1904
CITY OF LOWELL RAMS EAST RIVER FERRYBOAT
Ancient Columbia of Wall Street Line Sinks After Crash
Her Passengers All Escape
After Collision in early Morning Fog, Lowell's Captain Pushed Injured Boat
to Pier_____Nobody Blamed.
The Steel Sound steamer City of Lowell of the Norwich Line, drifting
early yesterday morning south of the Brooklyn Bridge in a fog that was
spoken of as "so thick you could hook and pull it like candy," sliced into
the venerable wooden side-wheel ferryboat Columbia of the Wall Street
service of the Union Ferry Company, and so damaged her that she sank, pilot
houses awash, at the State Street pier of the ferry company, a quarter of an
Little damage was done to the bow of the City of Lowell, and her
three-score passengers were not even alarmed. The crew and passengers on the
Columbia numbered 123, including three women who were going to clean offices
in Manhattan. All escaped with nothing more serious than a fright except
three colored men, two of whom were severely hurt. Nine horses, worth
$3,500, were drowned. The Columbia will be raised today and it was estimated
that it will cost $15,000 to repair her and clean her machinery. Neither
Captain blames the other for the collision, but it is believed that in the
fog blanket the commander of the Columbia thought he was further west than
he really was, and was going ahead when the City of Lowell was backing.
When the Columbia left Montague Street, Brooklyn, for Wall Street,
shortly after 7 o'clock, she appeared suddenly to enter a fog bank, amid a
bewildering clanging and shrieking of signals from water craft uncertain of
their bearings. In the pilot house was W.N. COLES, a veteran in the ferry
company's service. The City of Lowell, under the command of Capt. O.C.
GRIFFIN, was due at Pier 40 North River at 7 o'clock, but had been loafing
along, though, and was late.
Capt. GRIFFIN told of what happened in this way:
"The Lowell passed the bridge with a strong ebb tide running. I could
just see the bridge overhead and the east tower, but nothing on the river.
We were slowing with the tide when we stopped, having heard a Fulton Ferry
boat, as we supposed, signal on our starboard side. Then there were whistles
on our port bow from what proved the Columbia.
"Immediately I rang to back at full speed and signaled, but the
ferryboat suddenly came out of the fog, and in an instant there was a
collision. The Lowell cut into her on the starboard side forward of the
Pilot COLES of the Columbia, in his statement to Capt. W.E. GERARD,
General Superintendent of the Union Ferry Company, corroborated Capt.
GRIFFIN in the main, but said that he believed himself on the New York side,
and that he heard the fog bell at the Wall Street pier.
The gash in the Columbia's hull extended far into the starboard cabin,
but did not damage her machinery. A few moments after the accident Capt.
GRIFFIN, finding that the bow of the Lowell was wedged into the cleft in the
Columbia's hull, started his craft ahead to push the disabled ferryboat
toward the Brooklyn river front. At the same time he shouted to those on the
Columbia to clamber aboard the Lowell over her port bow, and detailed his
ship's company to aid them. Admirable order was kept, and all were soon on
board the Lowell. It was then ascertained that the three colored men had
been injured by flying wreckage. WILLIAM JOHNSON was slightly bruised and
declined aid, but WILLIAM LESTER OF 168 Prince Street and "BUCK" JONES of
237 Navy Street, Brooklyn, were more seriously hurt, the former having two
fractured ribs and the latter severe contusions in the back.
The Lowell pushed the Columbia past Pier 19, having fastened a hawser
to her first, at the end of Union Ferry. At the State Street pier, just
north of the Atlantic Avenue Ferry, however, the old ferryboat broke loose
and settled in thirty feet of water on an even keel.
The Columbia was built in 1867, and was valued at $70,000. She
received new boilers and was put in thorough repair last February. The
Lowell was due to be laid up yesterday. Her place is taken by the New
Superintendent Gerard of the Union Ferry Company said that no one
appeared to be to blame for the disaster. General Manager and Treasurer H.K.
KNAPP was of like opinion.
4 January 1923
TYPHOID EPIDEMIC IN QUEENS VILLAGE
Twenty-One Cases are Under Treatment and Two Deaths Reported This Week.
Candy Store Suspected
It Has Been Closed and Laboratory Tests Are Now in Progress
An outbreak of typhoid fever in Queens Village in the Borough of
Queens in the vicinity of Public School No. 33 at Madison Avenue and Cedar
Street has caused the health authorities considerable concern, but Health
Commissioner Royal S. Copeland said yesterday that there was no occasion
for alarm, as he was reasonably confident the source of the infection had
been traced to a candy and ice cream store, which had been closed.
There are twenty-one cases of typhoid fever in the village and two
deaths have occurred this week. Thirteen children who attend Public School
No. 33 and three adults living in the neighborhood are among the victims.
Dr. Louis I. Harris, Director of the Bureau of Preventable Diseases of the
Health Department, said that it was believed that a person working in the
confectionery store near the school is a carrier of the germs.
A series of typhoid fever cases was reported from the neighborhood
about Dec. 23. Dr. Harris said. After an investigation it was found that
about Nov. 29 four of the classes of the school held Thanksgiving parties
and that thirty or forty children attended each party. In each instance, Dr.
Harris said, the ice cream and confections for the parties were obtained
from the same store. He also said that the adults who became sick had
partaken of confections obtained from this store. Miss Mary E. Lobdell, a
teacher in the school, is reported seriously ill.
The Health Department is conducting laboratory tests to confirm the
suspicions of the source of the epidemic. The health officials urge all who
have been exposed to the disease to receive typhoid immunization from their
physicians, and if unable to afford visiting a doctor they should visit the
Health Department and be immunized there free of charge.
17 December 1924
POISON LIQUOR LIST NUMBERS 25 DEAD
Two Deaths Reported Yesterday and 18 Victims Admitted to Bellevue.
Some may become blind. Police and Dry Agents so far unable to discover
source of flood of bad liquor. Many pre-holiday raids. 1,200 gallons of
Whisky in Barrels marked "Dry Goods" seized in Brooklyn.
Poison liquor killed two more men yesterday and eighteen others were
admitted to Bellevue Hospital. The two deaths brought the total since the
1st of the month to twenty-five. Last night there were twenty-one patients
in the alcoholic ward in Bellevue suffering from poisoning, three of them
women. While none was reported to be in danger of death, it was said that
several were threatened with blindness.
ABRAHAM BOTNEY, 32 years old, was one of the victims to succumb to
alcoholic poisoning. He died at his home at 550 Saratoga Avenue, Brooklyn,
early in the morning. His wife called in the police when she could not
awaken him. An examination by an ambulance surgeon who arrived a short time
later revealed that bad liquor was the cause of death.
The other death was that of MICHAEL McKEON, 44 years old, of 437 West
Fifty-fourth Street. He died in Bellevue, where he had been unconscious
Although warnings were sent out by both city and Federal authorities
yesterday, poisonous holiday liquor was in evidence all over the city. Of
the eighteen patients admitted to Bellevue yesterday no two came from the
same section. As Bellevue is the only hospital in the city that admits
alcoholic cases, they were sent there from many different points.
GOOD LIQUOR SCARCE
The police trying to discover the sources of the bad liquor have been
handicapped in obtaining evidence, prohibition authorities said, by the
cleverness of the purveyors. The usual drinkers of liquor of that kind, they
said, were easily distinguishable from any enforcement officer. As a result,
when the officers went to buy liquor in the suspected places, they were
recognized at once and no sale was made to them.
One of the reasons given for the increase in consumption of the bad
liquor was the lack of supply of good whiskies and gin. This was due, they
asserted, to the heavy storms of the past few weeks that prevented landings,
and the more rigid patrol maintained by the Coast Guard.
As a result of the increasing number of deaths the police were ordered
to pay special attention to all Manhattan ferries in an effort to capture
liquor in transportation. The order was issued last night from Police
Headquarters after a conference of police officials, presided over by Acting
Commissioner John A. Leach.
The move produced a quick result as fifty-five barrels of denatured
alcohol were seized and four men arrested a short time after the order went
out. The seizure took place at the Manhattan entrance to the West
Twenty-third Street Ferry.
5 September 1948
PLANE RIPS THROUGH HOUSE IN QUEENS; FOUR ARE KILLED.
Sudden death on the wings of a Navy Corsair fighter struck four
persons yesterday afternoon when the plane crashed into a four-family home
one block from the Bayside station of the Long Island Rail Road. The victims
included the pilot, a Marine Corps reserve officer on his first day of a
two-week reserve training course, two women occupants of the house at 39-29
212th Street and a woman visitor.
The police identified two of the women by finger rings. They were MRS.
HELEN RAYNOR, occupant of the ground floor, and MRS. ALICE CRESSMER, who
lived on the top floor. At 10 o'clock last night the body of the third woman
was taken from the ruins. She was identified as MISS LOUISE PAUL, 26
year-old niece of MRS. CRESSMER, who had been visiting her aunt. She
apparently had been pinned in the wreckage by a piece of the plane.
The pilot was First Lieut. ROGER OLSEN. He was 25 years old and lived
with his sister MRS. BURTON A. AMES at Hillandale Farms, Weaver Street, New
Rochelle, N.Y. On his left hand he wore a gold Navy ring with the
inscription: "Pensacola, 1943".
Eyewitnesses, including members of the Bayside police and fire units,
noticed the plane apparently in trouble about 2:35 yesterday afternoon.
Several agreed that the plane rolled over before it tore into the upper
story of the two-story house.
Fireman CLINTON ROSSON of 32-15 206th Street, a licensed airplane
pilot, said the plane was stunting at 1,100 feet. He told a four-man Naval
Board of Inquiry that he saw the pilot execute one barrel roll at that
height and another as he dropped lower. He said he saw a fragment of the
propeller on the single-engined plane fly off just before the crash. The
police recovered a propeller section about two and one-half feet long from a
backyard about 200 feet away from the crash scene.
The plane thundered into the brick-and-frame dwelling at 2:40, missing
the main Bayside shopping section by less than 1,000 feet. Gas-oline from
its wing tanks burst into flame immediately, balking rescuers who were on
the scene almost at the instant of the crash.
With the crash heard blocks away, the plane tore through the roof, top
floor and ground floor of the building and buried its nose in the cellar.
Wedged in the cockpit, LIEUT. OLSEN had no chance for his life. Witnesses
saw MRS. CRESSMER on the top floor, her clothing aflame, for a few seconds
before the floor collapsed under her. MRS. RAYNOR, trapped by flames on the
ground floor, screamed in vain for help before the floor in her apartment
ALBERT CRESSMER, husband of MRS. CRESSMER and uncle of the missing
niece, told the police that the two women were in the house when he left on
a shopping tour shortly before the crash. Since MISS PAUL'S body had not
been recovered by last evening, the police believed the plane had carried
her into the cellar. DENNIS RAYNOR, 2-year-old son of the ground-floor
family, was playing in the back yard and escaped injury.
3 OTHERS ESCAPE INJURY
Next door three persons escaped injury, MRS. AUGUSTA SHUMWAY, a
73-year-old widow, was in the bathroom when the crash shook her ground-floor
apartment. She emerged unhurt but shaken and hysterical.
On the ground floor MRS. CECILIA ADELSTEIN and her son RICHARD, 20,
were terrified by the crash. MRS. ADELSTEIN was struck on the head by a
picture knocked off the wall but was otherwise uninjured. She and the son
rushed into the street. Others living in the building were away from home at
Two daughters of the CRESSMERS, CONNIE, 10, and EDITH, 7, had gone to
a neighborhood movie. ALBERT CRESSMER, the father, did not tell them his
wife and niece were dead when they joined him at the scene. MISS PAUL, the
niece, lived at 10 Avon Road, Narberth, Pa., and was visiting her relatives
over the Labor Day week-end. CLIFFORD RAYNOR, husband of MRS. RAYNOR, was
off on a fishing trip and could not be located hours after .
Patrolman ROBERT HUDSON, leaving to catch the 2:50 train for duty in
Manhattan, was a block away from the station when he saw the plane flying
"It was ovbiously in distress," he recounted. "It did a roll just
before it hit the house. Before striking it sheared off the tops of some
trees near by. As I ran toward the house I saw a woman kneeling near the
shattered living-room window. She was screaming. Then the fire broke out. I
ran into a house near by and phoned the police. When I went back with some
neighbors the fire was so intense that we could not reach her."
EXPECTED PILOT TO PULL OUT
EDWARD ARNOLD, from his backyard three blocks away, said the airplane
was bound from west to east. He judged that it was in a deep power dive and
said he expected the pilot to pull out.
"I didn't hear the engine pick up," he said. "There was a dull heavy
thud as the plane struck and then it exploded."
Firemen from Engine Company 306 and Hook and Ladder Company 152, three
blocks away, watched the plane as it seemed to spiral in the sky. Deciding
that it was about to crash, they rolled out their apparatus and were at the
scene within minutes of the impact. A police emergency squad arrived at the
same time, but the flames and heat were so intense that they could not enter
the building. Because of the danger to frame houses nearby Battalion Chief
JAMES ROCHE sent in a second alarm. By 3:06 P.M., with the use of chemical
foam the fire was considered under control after raging for nearly half an
Fire Commissioner FRANK J. QUAYLE supervised fire operations, while
the police at the scene were directed by Chief Inspector Martin J. Brown.
Chief Fire Marshal THOMAS P. BROPHY conducted an investigation for the
Lieutenant OLSEN, the pilot, served as a first lieutenant with the
Marine Corps during the war on night-fighter planes in the Pacific. He was
single and a salesman for a hospital supply concern here. His parents are
MR. AND MRS. OLAF OLSEN of Chicago, where his father is a custom tailor. He
leaves two sisters, MISS HELEN OLSEN of Chicago and MRS. AMES. MR. AMES is
an assistant vice-president of Lord & Taylor.
The single-engined Corsair was used extensively by the Navy as a
single-place fighter in the last war. Its wing tanks hold 225 gallons of
gasoline and its eighteen-cylinder, 2100 horsepower engine give it a speed
of 425 miles an hour and a service ceiling of 40,000 feet. With a normal
load it weighs more than six tons.
Transcribed by Miriam Medina
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