The Great Chicago Theater Disaster

The Great Chicago Theater Disaster

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1904 edition. Excerpt: ...beginning of the holocaust, there came one of the most thrilling and significant stories of that afternoon of panic. Mrs. Emma Schweitzler and Mrs. Eva Katherine Clapp Gibson, of Chicago, were the two women who told this story. They occupied seats in the fifth row of the orchestra circle. Mrs. Schweitzler was the last woman to walk out unassisted from the first floor. Mrs. Gibson was carried out badly burned. "The curtain that was run down," said Mrs. Schweitzler, "was the regular drop curtain painted with the 'autumn scene.' It was the same curtain that was lowered before the show started and the same one used during the interval following the first act. No other curtain was lowered. "As soon as the drop curtain came down it caught fire. A hole appeared at the left hand side. Then the blaze spread rapidly, and instantly a great blast of hot air came from the stage through the hole in the curtain and into the audience. Big pieces of the curtain were loosened by the terrific rush of air and were blown into the people's faces. Scores of women and children must have been burned to death by these fragments of burning grease and paint. I was in the theater until the curtain had entirely burned. It went up in the flames as if it had been paper, and did more damage than good." "So far as could be observed from the audience, the asbestos curtain was not lowered at all," said Mrs. Schweitzler. "I was particularly interested in that 'autumn-scene' curtain because I paint oil pictures myself. "Before the show started I sat for a long time examining the painting. From our seats in the fifth row we could see every detail. The 'autumn scene' was done in heavy red and in order to get some of the effects the artist had to use great daubs of paint, smearing it on...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 86 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 168g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236679148
  • 9781236679147