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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2017, 12:36 PM
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Halifax Explosion 100th anniversary

December, 6th 1917

This deserves its own thread, as a Haligonian I believe we need to recognize this enormous event which changed the lives and landscape of our city.



Quote:
67. Rare film footage offers a glimpse of the devastation & rebuilding after the explosion. #100years100stories
Video Link

https://twitter.com/100YearsStories/...19703576264704
Some links to more photos and information:

https://100years100stories.ca/

http://mashable.com/2016/02/15/halif.../#.jL7G3FoDuqj
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Old Posted Nov 3, 2017, 10:26 PM
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The Nova Scotia Archives film footage is always fascinating to watch. The film, from about 3:49, depicts scenes from the Intercolonial Railway's North Street Station, including the trainshed where the glass roof collapsed killing many inside. Contrast the images in the film with this photo taken five years earlier inside the trainshed:



The train in the photo is the Dominion Atlantic Railway's Halifax-Yarmouth express The Flying Bluenose. The photo is from the collection of the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, photo number STR04089b.

A notable story of survival from North Street Station: DAR general manager George Graham was having breakfast with his family in the railway's business car "Nova Scotia" at the time of the explosion. Graham (and the car) survived the disaster; he made his way out of the wreckage, and walked through the devastation to Rockingham to find a working telegraph line, which he used to order the first relief trains from Kentville.

"Nova Scotia" also survived the demise of the DAR. It was part of a railway-themed restaurant in Orillia for many years. After the business went bankrupt the car was moved in 2012 to the Toronto Railway Museum but I'm not sure what, if any, plans the museum has to preserve the car (which was substantially altered for restaurant use).

There was a reported proposal to return the car to Nova Scotia, which apparently went nowhere. Unfortunate, as it could have been a significant element in the Explosion centennial. I spoke at length to a Herald reporter about the car in 2010 and referred him to other knowledgable sources but, as far as I know, they never produced a story about it. Another example of how indifferent we can be to the preservation of our own history.



The photo of DAR business car "Nova Scotia" was taken in Kentville in 1956. (From the Bud Laws collection on Trainweb.org.)

Last edited by ns_kid; Nov 3, 2017 at 10:36 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2017, 5:41 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is online now
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This is a subject of which I have always had an interest, as I recall my grandmother's stories of how she survived after her house in Dartmouth was destroyed from the explosion while she was in it. Though she has been gone many years, I still remember her stories about how her arm was almost amputated in the post-explosion triage and how her brother, who was in the medical corps of the military, had intervened before the amputation took place, saving her arm. I vividly recall seeing the scars from the many stitches on her arms and face, and the patches of gunpowder still visible through her skin. The film depicts the aftermath of the terrible blizzard that happened the next day, as she had described to me.

On the explosion, NS archives also has quite a bit of info available online:

https://novascotia.ca/archives/virtu...THexp&List=all

I haven't been to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in a number of years, but I recall that they have a good explosion exhibit as well.

https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca...ifax-explosion

Some bits of info:

The Piercey's building, which was torn down 2 years ago almost to the day...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...tion-1.3324084

...was a cotton mill originally built by the Nova Scotia Cotton Manufacturing Company in 1882. It was mostly destroyed in the Halifax Explosion, with loss of life of many of its occupants. After the explosion the bottom floor was roofed over and used by Piercey's until it was closed and demolished in 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_S...turing_Company

I believe this to be a photo of its ruins, looking towards the Halifax exhibition grounds (in the background).



https://novascotia.ca/archives/MacAs...es.asp?ID=2511

I've read quite a bit on the subject, but will say the book that brought the event alive to me the most was The Blue Tattoo by Steven Laffoley. It is a novel interwoven with facts about the historical event, and really helps to lay out the event from the perspective of how it must have been experienced by the people in the city at the time. I recommend the read if anybody has interest - the Halifax Public Library has 13 copies listed at the moment.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2017, 7:00 PM
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Another important Novel set during the explosion: Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barometer_Rising
His house was on South Park Street, just North of the Lord Nelson, I remember it being there in the 80's, but is of course now just a memory.
From this report, the MacLennan House was still there in 2011:
http://legacycontent.halifax.ca/coun...8ca1014iii.pdf

Last edited by JET; Nov 15, 2017 at 7:21 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2017, 7:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
Another important Novel set during the explosion: Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barometer_Rising
His house was on South Park Street, just North of the Lord Nelson, I remember it being there in the 80's, but is of course now just a memory.
From this report, the MacLennan House was still there in 2011:
http://legacycontent.halifax.ca/coun...8ca1014iii.pdf
Oddly enough, I've never read that one... no idea why. I'll have to pick it up one of these days.

Was the house one of these?



South Park Street from Sackville Street, looking south…
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2017, 2:53 PM
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It was not a grand house, I remember it being a white wooden house, quite plain. Those look impressive, nice find.
The building on the right (west side of street) was in the public gardens?
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2017, 4:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
It was not a grand house, I remember it being a white wooden house, quite plain. Those look impressive, nice find.
The building on the right (west side of street) was in the public gardens?
I believe it was a skating rink, the one in the following article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...1863-1.3387645

and this:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/thenova...rate-150-years

Quote:
An entire city block, except for a covered skating rink built by the military facing South Park Street, was now under cultivation.
Here's a photo from NS archives that part of it just behind the three houses on the corner of South Park and Sackville (old CBC site):


https://novascotia.ca/archives/Notma...ves.asp?ID=406

Also, I did find part of a thread on this site where it was discussed in the past:
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=143037&page=5

The map shown in that thread is on the NS archives site:
https://novascotia.ca/archives/maps/plate.asp?ID=18
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2017, 8:05 PM
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 3:08 PM
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Interesting. Late 1800s? I recall reading somewhere that aerial photographs were taken back then (before aircraft) by hanging a camera from a balloon. This looks like one of those photographs.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2017, 7:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
It was not a grand house, I remember it being a white wooden house, quite plain. Those look impressive, nice find.
The building on the right (west side of street) was in the public gardens?
yes - it was the indoor skating rink.
it was relocated to the exhibition building, and demolished in 1899. the building was run down, and prone to flooding.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 1:20 AM
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A city destroyed: The Halifax Explosion, 100 years later in 360-degrees

Video Link


CBC News
Published on Nov 26, 2017
CBC News Interactives has recreated the city of Halifax as it existed in 1917 to show how the Halifax explosion unfolded and its effects on the people who lived there.

http://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/halifaxexplosion/

Video Link
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2018, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
This is a subject of which I have always had an interest, as I recall my grandmother's stories of how she survived after her house in Dartmouth was destroyed from the explosion while she was in it. Though she has been gone many years, I still remember her stories about how her arm was almost amputated in the post-explosion triage and how her brother, who was in the medical corps of the military, had intervened before the amputation took place, saving her arm. I vividly recall seeing the scars from the many stitches on her arms and face, and the patches of gunpowder still visible through her skin. The film depicts the aftermath of the terrible blizzard that happened the next day, as she had described to me.

On the explosion, NS archives also has quite a bit of info available online:

https://novascotia.ca/archives/virtu...THexp&List=all

I haven't been to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in a number of years, but I recall that they have a good explosion exhibit as well.

https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca...ifax-explosion

Some bits of info:

The Piercey's building, which was torn down 2 years ago almost to the day...



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...tion-1.3324084

...was a cotton mill originally built by the Nova Scotia Cotton Manufacturing Company in 1882. It was mostly destroyed in the Halifax Explosion, with loss of life of many of its occupants. After the explosion the bottom floor was roofed over and used by Piercey's until it was closed and demolished in 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_S...turing_Company

I believe this to be a photo of its ruins, looking towards the Halifax exhibition grounds (in the background).



https://novascotia.ca/archives/MacAs...es.asp?ID=2511

I've read quite a bit on the subject, but will say the book that brought the event alive to me the most was The Blue Tattoo by Steven Laffoley. It is a novel interwoven with facts about the historical event, and really helps to lay out the event from the perspective of how it must have been experienced by the people in the city at the time. I recommend the read if anybody has interest - the Halifax Public Library has 13 copies listed at the moment.
For those who may be curious, I just found another photo of the Piercey's/Dominion Cotton Mills/Nova Scotia Cotton Manufacturing Company building from 1903 (how it looked before the explosion) on the Halifax Municipal Archives site:



Source
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 3:07 PM
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Hey I made a movie about my Grandad William S. Owen being a baby in Dartmouth during the Halifax Explosion- hope you dig it. I had a lot of discoveries seeing how much Halifax has changed from 1917 to now!

https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/712252

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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 3:30 PM
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The Alderney Landing piece of art has been installed.

20180620_152823 by Jonovision23, on Flickr

20180620_152832 by Jonovision23, on Flickr

20180620_152914 by Jonovision23, on Flickr
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 6:03 PM
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Ah, I saw the same thing on the Dartmouth Commons while driving by this morning. I was wondering what it was!
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2020, 1:35 AM
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Going to bump this thread because of the Beirut explosion. The Beirut explosion is perhaps the most similar explosion we have video of an explosion seen in Halifax.Some details I notice:

- In the re-enactments like in the CBC documentary, they fail to capture what would have been a mighty white cloud created by the shockwave.

- The seismic waves are omitted from the re-enactments.

Any other details people are noticing?
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2020, 1:50 AM
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A century after the Halifax Explosion, Beirut tragedy hits close to home


The explosion in Beirut Tuesday next to a historical image of the Halifax Explosion. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images/Maritime Museum of the Atlantic)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...anon-1.5675794
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2020, 1:51 AM
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Saw something posted somewhere listing the strongest recorded explosions. They were listed as the two atomic explosions in Japan, then Beirut, then the Halifax explosion.

Not sure where all the nuclear testing through the 50s and 60s winds up but that was the list I saw, anyway.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2020, 1:52 AM
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Saw something posted somewhere listing the strongest recorded explosions. They were listed in order as the two atomic explosions in Japan, then Beirut, then the Halifax explosion.

Not sure where all the nuclear testing through the 50s and 60s winds up but that was the list I saw, anyway.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2020, 2:16 AM
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The Halifax Explosion was bigger, estimated to be 3 kT of TNT equivalent. Beirut is estimated to be 1.5kT.

Regardless, the video out of Beirut is very instructive as to what the Halifax Explosion must have been like. I can't imagine any other single accidental man made explosion in the last century that was anywhere near equivalent to these two spectacular events.

Between the explosions and the pandemic, 2020 is 1917 all over again...…..
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