Molasses has been an important commodity for much of American history. Besides its use in candy and confections, it is also distilled into alcohol. But even apparently harmless substances can cause tremendous damage in the right circumstances; and this point was compellingly made in 1919 when a huge tank of molasses exploded in Boston’s North End. The disaster is little-known today outside of New England, but the lesson is clear: even seemingly “harmless” substances must be treated with the care they deserve.
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