Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Capsizing of the Eastland & the Finding of the "Fool Killer"

I've found myself in quite the research mood tonight as I continue to find little pieces of information that relate to topics we've discussed in class over the past weeks. This time I've found some random info relating to the Eastland tragedy.

- 835 people died in the polluted river that day

- Of those that died, 22 entire families were included

- One particular prominent manufacturing family, the Plamondon's, had a history of being victims in several tragedies over the 1903 Charlotte Plamondon was barely rescued from her box seat during the Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Plamondon were both killed when the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1915. During the Eastland capsize, several members of the families of E.K. Plamondon and Ambrose Plamondon were aboard the ship but all luckily survived.

- One man, John Ebert, helped save 3 dozen people aboard the ship. Ebert had a previous experience of capsized ships, having survived the sinking of the Titanic.

- My favorite piece of info I discovered was the random discovery made by divers pulling bodies from below the river. Along with the hundreds of bodies discovered, divers also found a large, metal, circular object resting on the riverbed. Inside, the skeletons of a man and a dog were found. It was later determined that the object was an experimental submarine, called the "Fool Killer", designed by Lodner Phillips of Indiana who sold the contraption to William Nissen of Chicago. Apparently Nissen attempted to test the sub and sank to the bottom of the river. The sub was eventually raised from the river and put on display (skeletons and all) in 1916.


I'm just wondering where this submarine is now...

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