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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

On this day (April 21) in the year 1855 the following article appeared in the "PROVINCIAL FREEMAN" (Toronto, Canada West) - - - - - - - - - - NIAGARA, April 18, 1855. - The town of Niagara was this morning, about a quarter before seven o'clock, visited by a fearful hurricane. The night had been very stormy, with thunder and heavy showers of rain. A little before the hour referred to, the sky assumed a sea-green colour, succeeded in a few minutes by a clear white, which indicated the presence of the hurricane. The rush of wind lasted about five minutes, and was at its height not more than one minute. But the damage it did was tremendous. It struck the Niagara Car Works, and in an instant levelled two large finishing shops, each 175 feet by 50, containing a number of new cars, and took the roofs partly off some of the other buildings. A large new frame 200 feet by 70, intended for a foundry, and ready to be enclosed, was piled in a mass. The engine house of the Erie and Ontario Railway was very much twisted, and the large wood shed nearly destroyed. Throughout the town the damage was very great--roofs, fences, and chimneys blown down in all directions. The St. Andrew's Church received great injury--a third of the roof and gallery inside were swept away. Graves and Pruden's large Daguerrean Saloon was turned over two or three times, and is a complete wreck. The loss to Messrs. Brainerds, Pierson & Co. is great, but the amount has not yet been ascertained. We learn however, that their principal building, containing their machinery, is not injured except the roof, and that it will be in operation again in two days, and their other buildings will be replaced temporarily, so that their whole works may again be in operation in ten days from this time. It happened most providentially that the day had been set apart as the Fast Day, else we should have had to lament the loss of from 50 to 100 lives in the Car Factory. As it is, thank God, neither life was lost, nor any person severely injured. We have not heard, up to the present hour, whether the hurricane extended far. It came directly from the north, and apparently struck the ground at intervals. -------------------------------------------------------------- 04-21-99

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