1856 Philadelphia tornado

On April 12, 1856, there was a strong tornado that struck the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At morning, Philadelphia was experiencing high westernly winds, with little rain and humid air.[2] It was around 10 pm where winds started to pick up, occupied with lightning, and hail. The storm was most felt at Northern Philadelphia, where the tornado struck. This tornado might have been part of a tornado family, as 30 minutes before the Philadelphia tornado struck, another tornado struck West Chester, killing one.[3] This tornado also may have been part of a Derecho event producing an outbreak, as another strong tornado struck Alliance, Ohio, and storm damage reported from Chicago to Cleveland down to New Jersey.[4][5]

1856 Philadelphia Tornado
F4 tornado
FormedApril 12, 1856
Duration10-15 minutes
Max. rating1F4 tornado
Fatalities0 fatalities, 9 injuries
Damage$100,000
($2.71 million in 2021 dollars[1])
Areas affectedPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

ImpactEdit

The tornado formed in Chester County, between 9:30 and 10 pm moving east, striking Norristown, tearing fences. The tornado continued to move east, knocking down a train and then turned more southeast until it struck Northeast Philadelphia at 10 pm, lasting for 10 to 15 minutes, immediately smashing windows, lifting signs, damaging and unroofing 200 houses.[6][7][2] The estimated damage caused by the tornado is said to be around $100,000 ($2.51 million in 2018).[8][6] The tornado continued southeast and struck Camden.

Several trains were knocked off of their rails; one loaded with 10 cars was moved 100 yards on the track, with 5 of the cars blown off.[9] Two large brick churches and three factories were unroofed in Kensington, with parts of the roof landing and demolishing a two-story frame building that had 6 children in the lower floor. Five houses were completely destroyed. The worst damage from this tornado was a large boiler house of the Franklin Iron Works that was completely demolished.[6] After the tornado dissipated, the storm itself would still cause damage, lifting a shed 150 yards in Tacony, stripping and damaging many buildings in Newark, blowing down a house near Elkton, killing two, blowing in a church in Bridgewater, ripping a roof off of a bridge in Beaver, and blowing down the York Furnace Bridge.[10][11][12]

The tornado caused telegraph line outages lasting several days west of Philadelphia.[13]

AftermathEdit

The tornado left North Philadelphia in ruins, leaving 9 injured.[14] The storm damaged most of eastern Pennsylvania.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-15). "New-York daily tribune. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1842-1866, April 15, 1856, Image 5". p. 5. ISSN 2158-2661. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  3. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-18). "Lewisburg chronicle. (Lewisburg, Pa.) 1850–1859, April 18, 1856, Image 3". ISSN 2333-1666. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  4. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-15). "The New York herald. (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, April 15, 1856, MORNING EDITION, Image 4". p. 4. ISSN 2474-3224. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  5. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-19). "The New York herald. (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, April 19, 1856, MORNING EDITION, Image 6". p. 4. ISSN 2474-3224. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  6. ^ a b c Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-16). "Alexandria gazette. (Alexandria, D.C.) 1834–1974, April 16, 1856, Image 2". ISSN 1946-6153. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  7. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-17). "Port Tobacco times, and Charles County advertiser. (Port Tobacco, Md.) 1845–1898, April 17, 1856, Image 2". ISSN 2474-7289. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  8. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (April 16, 1856). "Alexandria gazette. [volume] (Alexandria, D.C.) 1834-1974, April 16, 1856, Image 2" – via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
  9. ^ Daily American organ. [volume, April 14, 1856, Image 3]
  10. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-17). "The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, April 17, 1856, Image 1". ISSN 2157-1260. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  11. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-18). "The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, April 18, 1856, Image 1". ISSN 2157-1260. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  12. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-19). "The New York herald. (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, April 19, 1856, MORNING EDITION, Image 11". p. 8. ISSN 2474-3224. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  13. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (April 25, 1856). "Orleans independent standard. [volume] (Irasburgh, Vt.) 1856-1871, April 25, 1856, Image 2" – via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
  14. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-26). "The Evansville daily journal. (Evansville, Ia. [i.e. Ind.]) 1848-1862, April 26, 1856, Image 2". ISSN 2381-3210. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  15. ^ Humanities, National Endowment for the (1856-04-18). "Alexandria gazette. (Alexandria, D.C.) 1834–1974, April 18, 1856, Image 2". ISSN 1946-6153. Retrieved 2019-07-24.