Sunday, October 3, 2010

Crush, Texas

Crush, Texas, was a temporary "city" established as a one-day publicity stunt in 1896. William George Crush, general passenger agent of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (popularly known as the Katy), conceived the idea to demonstrate a train wreck as a spectacle. No admission was charged, and train fares to the crash site were at the reduced rate of US$2 from any location in Texas. As a result about 40,000 people showed up on September 15, 1896 making the new town of Crush, Texas, temporarily the second-largest city in the state.  When the two trains collided, the impact caused both engine boilers to explode. Debris, some pieces as large as half a drive-wheel, was blown hundreds of feet into the air. Some of the debris came down among the spectators, killing three and injuring several more, including event photographer Jarvis "Joe" Deane, who, struck by a flying bolt, lost one eye.