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Cleaned-Up Eastland Disaster Film Gives Clearer Look Than Ever at Tragedy

 Jeff Nichols has cleaned up footage of the Eastland Disaster.
Jeff Nichols has cleaned up footage of the Eastland Disaster.
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CHICAGO — Cleaned-up footage of the Eastland Disaster gives viewers a clearer look than ever before at the tragedy, which took more than 800 lives in 1915.

Two films from the boating disaster were brought to the attention of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society in February. Before then, the society hadn't known of any footage of the disaster, the most deadly single shipwreck in the history of the Great Lakes. But, the films were cloudy and scratchy.

The British Film Industry has restored and redigitized some of the footage in a months-long process. Watch the video:

Compare with the original video (Eastland Disaster footage starts at the 9:10 mark):

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The Eastland sunk while moored to a dock on the Chicago River with more than 2,500 passengers and crew members aboard, according to the Eastland Disaster Historical Society. The ship listed, filled with water and sunk to the bottom of the river, killing 844 people who were trapped inside.

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