This film is part of Free

Salving a Steamer

“Chicago’s Titanic” the S.S. Eastland, a Great Lakes passenger ship in which 844 people lost their lives, is brought up from the seabed.

Non-Fiction 1915 1 mins Silent


Even in the midst of WWI, British hearts and minds were captured by the tragic sinking of the Great Lakes passenger ship, the S.S. Eastland. Employees of Western Electric and their families were embarking on a company day-trip picnic, when the top-heavy ship listed and then rolled whilst still tied to the wharf. Of the over 2500 passengers and crew, 844 lost their lives in just 20-feet of water.

Footage of the sunken ship and the rescue and salvage efforts was sold to newsreels across Europe, and this was the second story on the disaster that had appeared in Topical Budget. Despite its involvement in such a shocking loss of life, the ship was salvaged, refitted and sold to the United States Navy Reserve, were it served another 30-years of service as the U.S.S. Wilmette before being scrapped in 1947.