Eastland Disaster: Footage Surfaces

Film clips of the infamous 1915 Eastland disaster found at the EYE Film Institute in the Netherlands.

Eastland Upside Down  Chicago  River
The SS Eastland, upside down in the Chicago River, July 1915.

February 10, 2015 — Film clips of the infamous 1915 Eastland disaster have been found by a graduate student from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jeff Nichols, a doctoral student, uncovered the footage while doing research at the EYE Film Institute in the Netherlands. The segments were found within Dutch newsreels, in between seemingly unrelated clips. 

One clip shows first-responders walking on the upside-down boat; the other shows workers attempting to right the ship.

On July 24, 1915, 844 people died when the Eastland rolled over while docked in downtown Chicago. Twenty-five-hundred passengers were aboard at the time of the accident.