Conshohocken, PA Factory Explosion, Feb 1873


Special Dispatch to the New York Times.
Norristown, Penn., Feb. 3. -- The town of Conshohocken, situated three miles below this place, and about thirteen miles from Philadelphia, was the scene of a terrific explosion this afternoon at 4 1/4. At that village, like many others along the Schuylkill River, is located a number of manufacturing establishments which give employment to nearly the entire population. In the mills many women and children are engaged, and in the numerous foundries, &c, the main portion of the inhabitants eke out a livelihood.
It was at one of these works, the extensive foundry and rolling mills of Jno. Wood & Brothers, that the disaster which created such dreadful havoc and terrible slaughter occurred today. Only a few minutes before the time of the explosion, the workmen had examined the boiler, and found the valves perfectly loose, there being but three gauges of water at the time. Considering the condition of the boiler, which was regarded by everybody about the establishment as perfectly trustworthy, and the fact that it had a low-water indicator, the affair is a matter of mystery. The day workmen had just left, and the night men were just going to work. A distance of 200 feet from the above foundry is located the Albion Print works, where three boys were standing. A piece of the exploding boiler was forced to this place, and all three of the boys were killed, and a large part of the place demolished. The killed are H. HUMMEL, JR., W. HANNA, JAS. CARROLL, and the three juveniles just mentioned, whose names could not be ascertained. These works have been in operation for nearly a quarter of a century, and the utmost confidence placed in the safety of the boilers. A number of persons were more or less seriously injured, among whom were WM. KELLY and WM. BARRETT, who have since died.

New York Times New York 1873-02-04