Some of these accounts were drawn from newspaper articles from the time period of the event.
At 9:40 P.M. on October 5, 1909, two trains met head-on as they rounded a sharp curve near Farmer City, Illinois. At least one passenger was killed and several were injured. One train, the state fair special, was taking home hundreds of people from the state fair in Springfield, Illinois. The other train was a regular passenger train traveling between Chicago and Clinton, Illinois. This photograph, taken the following day, shows the work crew removing the wreck from the tracks. The large crowd in the background probably consists of train passengers who were stranded by the wreck.
On Saturday morning July 24, 1915, employees of the Western Electric Co. and their families boarded the "Eastland," one of five steamships chartered by the company to cruise 40 miles from the Chicago River along Lake Michigan to the company's annual picnic in Michigan City, Indiana. Passengers crowded to the port side of the deck for a view of the river, and the boat capsized while still at dock. The Eastland had been constructed without a keel, relying on water-filled ballast tanks to keep her from becoming top heavy. A U. S. District Court investigation determined that the ballast tanks were empty that morning and that the lack of a counterbalance caused the accident. Approximately 800 people were killed, trapped below deck. Because the Eastland did not sink entirely, many passengers survived by climbing onto the upright starboard side. This photo shows rescue workers searching for survivors and removing the dead.
The Navy dirigible "Shenandoah" left Lakehurst, New Jersey, on September 2, 1925, at approximately 4:00 P.M., headed for St. Louis and Detroit. Lieutenant Commander Zachery Lansdowne was in charge, with approximately 36 men on board. They were traveling over Ohio when they flew into a severe electrical storm, at approximately 4:00 A.M. The crew changed course almost a dozen times — moving between altitudes of 1,800 and 7,000 feet. However, the air pressure and twisting were so great that the ship broke. The control car that was attached to the underbelly of the airship fell to the ground. Fourteen people died, including Lansdowne. This panorama shows the nose, which continued its flight for 12 miles, landing in Sharon, Ohio. It was believed that the accident could have been avoided if meteorological information had been available.