Hauntings and the Denver Equitable Building

The Denver Fire tests of 1890 were revolutionary to the practice of fire safety engineering. The tests were performed under direction of architectural firm, Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul. The objective was to compare three allegedly 'fire-proof' flooring arch systems which had been proposed for the Denver Equitable Building through a competitive bid process. For the building contract, the Pioneer fire proof construction company…

Westmount Arena Fire in 1918 and the National Hockey League

Sports fans are eagerly anticipating the start of the new National Hockey League (NHL) season beginning next month. I have always loved ice hockey especially its history. Growing up I was fascinated by the statistics, and the growth of ice hockey as a sport. I remember reading about the Westmount Arena, the home of the NHL's…

How I play with Lego grown up

Last month the company Lego released their Research Institute set (conceived by geoscientist Ellen Kooijman to promote science careers for women). The set features a woman chemist, a woman astronomer, and a woman archaeologist. The set sold out on the first day (online and in-store).  I managed to pick up a set though to support the message of…

National Personnel Records Center Fire of 1973 – Why its news today

In 1956, a National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) building was constructed in St Louis to hold military personnel records. The upper floor of this building caught fire on July 12th 1973. After a 22 hour fire the roof of the structure (made of prestressed concrete) suffered a 30% collapse. Ultimately the upper floor was removed post-fire. Today the…

The Fire of Beccles, November 1586

Part the History of fire sciences and technology project that I have been working on the last two years involves digitizing/archiving old documents related to fire sciences and technology. When I say old, I mean anything from 1920 all the way back to roman times. While some of these older documents speak of new ways to scientifically understand fire…