Affiliate notice

Affiliate links may be included in posts, as on sidebar ads, for which compensation may be received.

Monday, February 12, 2024

A Tragic Toast to Christmas - wood alcohol deaths of 1919 in Chicopee, Mass.

More than 100 people died of a companionable drink in several towns and cities in New England on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1919, nearly half of them in the city of Chicopee, Massachusetts. How this came to happen, and even how it came to be forgotten are both intriguing aspects to the tragedy.

The story of the grisly incident of unknowingly ingesting poisonous wood alcohol and how it played out in one New England city might stand as a microcosm of the conflict created between the legal production and sale of alcohol, those who would prohibit it, and those who would do anything to profit from it, not only in the years up to 1919, but in the tumultuous decade that followed.

Now Available