Chicago Ship: New Footage Discovered of 1915 Disaster That Killed 844

PHOTO: Survivors standing on the hull of the overturned Eastland steamer in Chicago, July 24, 1915. PlayChicago History Museum/Getty Images
WATCH Newly Discovered Film Shows 1915 Sinking of Ship

One hundred years after a boat capsized in the Chicago river, killing 844 people, archival footage of the disaster was accidentally discovered recently by a graduate student.

The clips are Dutch newsreels describing how he SS Eastland, which was carrying 2,500 people, turned onto its side in the Chicago River in July 1915.

PHOTO: The Eastland ship being righted after the Eastland Disaster on the Chicago River, 1915.Jun Fujita/Chicago History Museum/Getty Images
The Eastland ship being righted after the Eastland Disaster on the Chicago River, 1915.

The Eastland was one of five boats carrying Western Electric workers and their families and friends across Lake Michigan to a park in Michigan City, Indiana.

PHOTO: A rescue worker, dressed in a diving suit, leaps into the Chicago River at the site of the Eastland disaster, July 24, 1915, in Chicago.Chicago History Museum/Getty Images
A rescue worker, dressed in a diving suit, leaps into the Chicago River at the site of the Eastland disaster, July 24, 1915, in Chicago.

The first-known footage of the Eastland disaster was found by Jeff Nichols, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, while he was looking for unrelated material about World War I, the Chicago Tribune reported. Nichols found the footage on Europeana’s 1914-1918 website.

PHOTO: The Kenosha, a tugboat, rescuing survivors from the hull of the overturned Eastland steamer, Chicago, July 24, 1915.Chicago History Museum/Getty Images
The Kenosha, a tugboat, rescuing survivors from the hull of the overturned Eastland steamer, Chicago, July 24, 1915.

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