I suppose people in Boston are as familiar with this story as Detroit is with the 69 riots, but I have to say it again – HOLY MOLASSES!
Aftermath of the Disaster
The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.
Although he ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era – he was always less known to me – the man I am talking about is Harold Lloyd.
Harold Lloyd as his "Glasses Character"
Harold Lloyd was a brilliant comedian, superb athlete, and daredevil who did most of his own stunts even after a 1919 accident…
On a Sunday in August of 1919, Harold posed for a photographer. The set-up called for him to light a cigarette with a prop bomb — the round, black, type you might see in the cartoons. The bomb wasn’t a prop at all; it exploded in his hand. It ripped open the sixteen-foot ceiling and left Harold blind and with most of his right hand missing. Doctors told him he would never see again. His career was over.
But the doctors were wrong. Eventually, his sight did return, the scars healed, and a glove was crafted to hide his handicap from his public. The comedian, known for doing all his own daredevil stunts, felt his audience would be concerned for his safety and not laugh at the movie if they knew about his injury. So he wore the glove in every movie he ever made after the accident.
(from the official website of Harold Lloyd)
If have ever seen his 1923 movie Safety Last! you will find it hard to believe all of the stunts that he accomplished with a prosthetic hand.