Paterson, NJ Light Plant Explosion and Panic, Jan 1910


Nine Terribly Torn and Scalded in and Around Edison Electric Plant.


Cars Stop, Mill and Stores Had to Close--Street Lights Out--Elevators Stuck 'Twixt Floors

Special to The New York Times.

PATERSON, N. J., Jan. 21.--The explosion of four of the six big boilers in the Edison Electric Light Works on the Passaic River here at 4:30 o'clock this afternoon left this city and Passaic without electric light or power for three hours. The sudden cutting off of the light caused panics in several theatres, and women were hurt in the rush that was made for the doors.

One man was hurt mortally and eight others were badly injured at the scene of the explosion. The man who will die is Emil Van Houden of 52 North Main Street. He was scalded by escaping steam. The others injured are:

CLAXTON, ISAAC, 19 John Street, skull fractured; General Hospital.

GALIGIO, TONY, 342 River Road, right leg torn off and head lacerated; St. Joseph's hospital.

HILZMAN, GUSTAV, 29 Cross Street, burned, head and body lacerated; General Hospital.

MALONE, TONY, 31 Cross Street, head and body lacerated; St. Joseph's Hospital.

McGOWAN, GEORGE, 83 Vine Street, arm broken, face and head cut; General Hospital.

PALLER, GUSTAV, 208 Fifth Avenue, head lacerated; General Hospital.

PARKE, FRANCIS, 331 Grand Street, ribs fractured, head and body severely bruised; General Hospital.

TROEVER, GEORGE, 30 Dewey Avenue, arms and legs broken and head badly lacerated; General Hospital.

Claxton, Malone, Parke and Treover were employed in the Edison Company's works. Van Houden, worst injured of all, worked in the Geering Silk Dyeing Company, across the river from the scene of the explosion. He was stunned by flying débris and for half an hour lay senseless on the river bank receiving the full blast of escaping steam, which was shot across the river and almost parboiled him.

The other injured men worked in the dyehouse of Formanns, Stumpf & Sharpe, which adjoins the Edison works. They were at work in the yard and were buried under a mass of bricks and débris, which overwhelmed them when the heavy roof and part of the brick wall of the dyehouse were smashed in by the heavy pieces of iron--parts of the Edison boilers-- which were hurled through the air as though they had been so much light cardboard.