Chicago, Illinois -- EDHS was taken by surprise this morning when a Facebook post to our page came through with incredible news: the discovery of filmed footage of the Eastland Disaster.
Since founding the Eastland Disaster Historical Society 17 years ago, we had always felt that video footage existed somewhere, but were never able to locate it. These two short video clips are the first that EDHS has seen, and likely, the first that the public has seen of the Eastland Disaster as well.
The clips come from EYE Film Instituut Nederland and were brought to light by EDHS Facebook follower Jeff Nichols.
The first clip below (55 seconds) shows first responders walking on the overturned hull of the Eastland, pulling survivors/victims out through a gangway, and several other rescue and recovery efforts.
The Eastland Disaster footage begins at the 1:10 minute mark (so please feel free to advance the video).
The second clip (30 seconds) depicts the efforts while righting the Eastland weeks after the day of the tragedy.
The righting of the Eastland footage begins at the 9:10 minute mark (so please feel free to advance the video).
These clips come just in time as we commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Eastland Disaster this coming July. The moving pictures humanize the Disaster, bringing to life Chicago's greatest loss-of-life tragedy for the world to see and experience.
Our sincerest gratitude to Jeff Nichols for changing how we see the Eastland Disaster.
Video clips courtesy EYE Film Instituut Nederland.