Allentown, PA Macungie Furnace Explosion, Oct 1912


Others Are Hurt in Explosion, None Seriously

Allentown, Pa., Oct. 21 – In an explosion as the Macungie Furnace was being put into blast after five years of idleness, MISS KATIE CONRAD, a spectator, was instantly killed as she was standing beside her fiancee, IRA HIGH. A number of others were injured, but none seriously.

The accident, one of the most extraordinary in furnace history, is ascribed to foul air which accumulated in the pipes and chambers during the years of idleness. To put it into blast the furnace was equipped with a Kent stove, something like a huge bake oven, from which an eighteen-inch gas main ran to the main stack.

This main was propped up by two huge beams, four by five inches and twenty feet long. Several hundred persons were present when the furnacemen, under the direction of General Superintendent MILTON O. KNAUSS, started the new blast engine. The gas blew out the eighteen-inch wall of the Kent stove. The wall fell against the prons(?), one of which, sweeping heavily in its downward course, struck MISS CONRAD on the head, dashing out her brains. Her party included her parents MR. And MRS. NATHAN CONRAD, and her four brothers and sisters. The entire family was covered with bricks and dust.

MISS CONRAD was thirty-three years old and was to have been married this fall. She was a popular woman, and the whole of Macungie is in mourning.

The loss is $5,000, and may reach $10,000.

The Gettysburg Times Pennsylvania 1912-10-21