Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Boston molasses disaster/archive1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boston molasses disaster[edit]

This is a good article about an improbable disaster (people being crushed to death by a wave of molasses in January). It's short, but there's not that much to say about the disaster; it's well referenced (although without specific footnote-style citations, since it's uncontroversial) and, reading the references, reasonably complete. If this becomes featured, it might be a candidate for an April 1 front-page article (but that should not sway the featuring decision).

  • Support. This is to some extent a self-nomination, as I have done a certain amount of rewriting of the article. --Andrew 20:27, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
  • Object; too short, does not appear comprehensive. Everyking 20:39, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • "However, excellent short articles are also accepted." (Wikipedia:What is a featured article). Could you elaborate on what information you feel is missing? --Andrew 22:13, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
      • Not really, I can just see that it looks short, and knowing as I do that events like this in U.S. 20th century history tend to have been well-researched and have a lot written about them and a lot of info available, I would expect the article to be longer. A short article can really only be excellent if it's comprehensive, and I'm not convinced this deals with the disaster in comprehensive detail. If this really is as good as it can get, then I'll drop the objection. Everyking 22:18, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • Please mention some questions whose answers are not readily answered in the article. →Raul654 03:54, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
        • All I can add in defense of Everyking's argument is that "Great Disasters" managed an hour-long television program on this topic. It should therefore be possible for a text article to be quite comprehensive. Denni 00:51, 2005 Mar 24 (UTC)
          • I think there was a segment on a Modern Marvels disaster show about this topic as well. KellyCoinGuy 06:47, 31 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • For comparing on what information should ideally be in there (if available), one could look at the already featured Galveston Hurricane of 1900. I should say that Boston molasses disaster already contains basically all the information available from the online references (excepting, I suppose, a detailed history of transfers of ownership of Purity Distilling). There is a book on the subject, although I'm not sure how the author padded it out to make a whole book. He seems to have included a lot of material on anarchism, racism, and terrorism (gauging from the Amazon review ). --Andrew 22:41, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
      • Yes, the book is mostly speculative padding. Massachusetts and Boston added design review and licensing requirements after this incident, that's why so little is known for certain about the cause of the failure. --iMb~Mw 23:23, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • The book isn't even a reference - if someone's strung it out into a book, there must be quite a bit of additional information that's missing in the article - there's only so much speculative padding the author could have done, jguk 06:25, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
          • There you would be assuming that the book is really about the flood, when it really isn't. The author uses it as a jumping point for going into detail about the overall political, social and industrial situation at the time in a "stone soup" manner. --iMb~Mw 06:51, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • This article may be short, but it may be that there is simply not a vast amount of information, as there would be in broader topics. Too much more would be overkill. – ClockworkSoul 05:14, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object; too short, does not appear comprehensive. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:15, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
    • According to the guidelines, "too short" is not a valid objection. Not comprehensive is; could you please elaborate? --Andrew 22:41, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
    • By itself, too short is not an actionable objection. You need to say specifically what questions you have that are not addressed by this article. →Raul654 02:53, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not only too short and not comprehensive (there is more information currently available at the web), but it is in large part an unellaborated transcription with some (very) minor copyedits of Laborlawtalk Encyclopedia's entry on the subject (it is curious that this website is not mentioned at the article's External links). Although it may not be labelled a copvio, since a few more sentences have been inserted in the text, it is still way too far from FA status to me. -- Crisbas 23:10, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • is, of course, a GFDL-violating Wikipedia mirror. Obviously the content is the same as Wikipedia's! --iMb~Mw 23:17, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • I have stricken out the incorrect section in the objection. →Raul654 02:54, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
        • There are certainly more places on the WWW that mention the incident, but what information in those other sources is a) not redundant and b) verifiable? I've certainly found a lot of nonsense stories out there, but.... --iMb~Mw 03:04, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
          • For comparison, the Brittanica has only a paragraph on the subject (as far as I can find, anyway). --Andrew 04:01, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose This article needs a map showing where molasses swept through. Revth 03:31, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Now that would be nice. Is the information available, though? I'll look. --Andrew 04:01, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
      • I have maps of the region from 1895, 1915 and 1928, and with them and Boston Public library photos there is enough information to reconstruct the site. I'm drawing that map right now. --iMb~Mw 07:59, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • Thanks, they're great! --Andrew 19:56, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
        • Perfect! Support. -- Revth 01:20, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Neutral with a desire to support: There is one reference, and it would be nice if even a single other were added. Surely the Massachussetts Historical Society has had a monograph on the subject. If nothing else, grab that single book and go look in it has in it for other sources -- anything that will allow for further verification. A map of the area, even if a denatured mapquest gif (n.b. I am saying an original and GFL map that a person generates based on the streets, which can be found by the web). A single illustration is also weak. Surely a few pictures of treacle vats can be found, and they'd be out of copyright if from 1915 or thereabouts. If nothing else, it's a cute aside that Terry Pratchett seems to have adapted the story in his account of "Treacle Mine Road" in the Disc-World novels. Geogre 04:43, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Not having read the discworld novels, I don't know if they actually contain a reference to this episode or treacle mining in general. Feel free to add a comment to that effect. --Andrew 19:56, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support, especially if the map is added, if that information is available. – ClockworkSoul 05:17, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak support. Would be stronger if Geogre's and Revth's concerns were addressed. Johnleemk | Talk 06:54, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object What were some of the consequences of the disaster? Damages? Public reaction? Páll 09:37, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object Not comprehensive. The 3 references are all short online references, and some are of dubious quality. Yet the article mentions that someone has written a whole book about it - although that book has not been used as a reference. Surely there are more details in there that can be added. Also, it could do with a brief explanation of what "molasses" are - it's not a common term this side of the Pond, jguk 13:41, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Which one do you think is unreliable? Cecil Adams is pretty reliable, the Google Answers one is extensively referenced, and that leaves the article, which references the book. I found an interview with the book's author, in which he says 'So I said, "Let me see what’s out there in the way of sources." There were a few newspaper accounts, a few retrospectives, a few magazine articles, but really nothing in the way of primary-source material.' So it sounds like the only solution is for somebody to get their hands on the paper book, if we're to have more information. It's not in the McGill university library; I checked. Anyone? --Andrew 19:56, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC) (Oh and I mentioned that molasses is treacle; for more information you'll just have to click on the link)
      • I agree someone needs to get the book. When I looked on there were 61 copies left, so I'm sure you'll be able to find a copy, jguk 21:13, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • mild Support. Most of the text deals with the incident itself and not so much with the periods before and after. I would like to see more about what was done to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. However, I'll lend my support mainly because it's a good candidate for the April 1 feature. slambo 17:00, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
    • You're saying that we should lower our standards just so this article is on the main page on 1 April? I have to strongly disagree with you and say that's not a good enough reason to support, jguk 09:28, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That's not quite what I'm saying here. I think this article meets the current featured criteria, and it would make a good candidate for the front page feature on the first, but that the article could be improved by adding more information about the circumstances and consequences of the incident it describes. I don't think the lack of this information detracts from the article, it's just an avenue for improvement. slambo 16:33, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
  • Reluctantly object. I think the topic is absolutely awesome, but the article needs to include information on the consequences of the disaster. Hydriotaphia 20:37, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)