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NEW YORK TRIBUNE? FRIDAY. SEPTEMBER 17, 1926 ' ^?f**.
Showers of Debris Throw Luncheon Crowds Into Wild Flieht
Force Felt Seriously for
Two Blocks in ?All Direc?
tions; Loss on Plate
Glass Alone Is $750,000
Valuable Papers ?Are Lost
flot Slugs, Hurtled High
in Air, Sear Hands of
Those Who Touch Them
Losses in the heart of the financial
district yesterday from broken glass
and other material damage are csti
Wed at nearly ?1,000,000. The force
of the explosion was seriously felt
within an area of two blocks on all
tsides of the scene of the blast. There
were buildings in which practically
every window was shattered. Here and
there telephones were ripped from
walls, desks overturned, picture? torn
from fastenings and papers scattered
The structures in the immediate vi?
cinity of Broad and Wall Streets were,
of course, most seriously damaged.
The J- P. Morgan banking house, in
front of which the explosion occurred,
was left a mere skeleton. Every win?
dow on the Wall Street side and most
of those on the Broad Street side were
blown to fragments, while .consider?
able dama-je was done to the expensive
dome of the building. That the struc?
ture was not shattered completely is
?said to be due to the fact that the win?
dows had been reinforced with steel
wire. This wire still held when the
The Sub-Treasury across tne street
ilso looked like a hollow shell, with
?jvery window gaping and the doors j
clown in. The iron fence between this I
?wilding and the United States Assay
Office was twisted and bent into knots, j
tht the Broad Street side of the Stock|
fxchange Building all of the large]
???ate class windows with the exception
.Tone which happened to be open were
broken. The dome of this structure
vas so badly damagted that business
?.as suspended in order to give work?
men an opportunity to repair it.
Only a part of the loss sustained
"rom broken windows is covered by in
.irance written by the companies which
-'ake a specialty of this kind of busi
r.s*-ss. The Morgan building was fully
?ivered against breakage of its win?
dows from explosion, insurance under
vriters said. The policy, however, does
uj-t cover the dome of art class which
JiY.3 upon the main banking corridor of
Major A. White, head of the Plate!
':ias3 Insurance Company, which issued]
. -?'icies to the Mills. Equitable and |
Bank of Manhattan buildings, estimated I
*'se window damage to these buildings i
-?ce at between $25,000 and $30,000.!
Tic area affected was much smaller, he i
?id. than that of the- Black Tom ex-1
j-'josion, when the firm paid out $60,000 j
1 -cause of window breakage.
Other plate glass insu^anrse men said ;
?y-? price of glass has mounted fully
' > per cent since the time of the j
slack Tom explosion several years j
-o, the average window, such as Is now :
" the Wall Street office ' building, i
itjne about $35. The Black Tom i
ijplosion resulted in the insurance :
aip-jnies payina losses in the neigh- !
.-,-hood of $357,000 on plate glas3 ;
:.:t?r.e. The damage to plate glass in )
-????sierdav's affair is estimated at about ?
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K CORTLANDT ST 9-11DEV ST
$750,000. The greatest part of the
loss will have to be borne by the own?
ers of the buildings themselves, be?
cause of the refusal of a majority of
the insurance companies to insure
windows against explosion above the
fourth floor. What the extent of this
loss will be can be seen from the fact
that in the Equitable Building alone
windows were shattered from the first
to the thirty-second floors.
The Schulte cigar store at 34 Wall
Street was almost completely wrecked.
The entire front was blown in, the
counters smashed and the walls under?
mined. Goods littered the floor. The
cigar firm of H. Steams & Co., in the
Mills Building, estimated its loss at
$2,000. Herman Steams, the head of
the firm, said this will be a total loas
to his company, because insurance com?
panies had refused to give them a
policy since the Black Tom explosion.
The greatest force ef the blast se?ms
to have been exerted in a north?
westerly direction. Of the forty floors
in the Bankers Trust Building, at Wall
and Nassau streets, not one escaped
without broken windows. One of the
columns of the Wall Street fa?ade of
this building was badly chipped. The
superintendent of the structure* said
that dozens of stenographers here were
struck by flying glass and other d?bris.
Desks and cabinets were overthrown in
many of the offices and many valuable
documents blown out of the windows.
All the other structures in Wall
Street running west to the First Na?
tional Bank were damaged. Down New
Street to Exchange Place, across Ex
chance Pls.cc to William Street, up
Wiiliam Street to Cedar and west on
Cedar to Broadway, could be seen evi?
dences everywhere of shattered glass.
The superintendent of the Equitable
Building announced that panes of glass
had been broken from the ground floor
up to tho thiry-second, and that most
of the damc-re was done on the Pins
and Nassau Street corner. Glass con?
tinued to fall from the structure here
and there with every breath of wind
A five-inch slug crashed through
the skylight of Speyer & Co., in
Pine Street. A member of the firm
at whose feet it fell had a narrow
escape. The Speyer Building is just
behind the Sub-Treasurj*. the missile
having been hurled high in the air be
fore it fell into the Speyer Building.
Numerous windows in this building
also were shattered. Next door many
window?*of the Mechanics and ?>Ieta?3
National Bank also were blown out.
Fifty Quit Lecture on Disaster
Relief; Rush to Scene of Blast
Fifty physicians, social workers and
nurses were attending a lecture on
-Disaster Relief" at 220 West Forty
second Street yesterday noon when
word of the explosion reached them.
Commandeering automobiles as soon
as they could reach the street, the
trained workers rushed to the scene.
They were detailed to the various hos
A Panoramic View at the Scene of the Disaster
; Two-Warnings Were Issued of
Dangers to Financial Section
i (Continued from page one)
j weights that caused the damage were .
: similar to those used in ordinary dweli- j
! ings. They have the appearance of hav- ]
j ing been broken up some time ago, as ;
j all the breaks are old and oxidized, j
i There were also a few pieces of iron ?
' with screw threads on them."
Fire Marshal Brophy would not ex- s
; press any theory as to the cause of the
! explosion other than to say: "The facts
j speak for themselves."
Meager Clews Run Down
Police Commissioner En right, after
j an investigation, immediately detailed
! every available man to run down the
| few meager clews that were drawn out
from the mass of conflicting state
! ments told by eyewitnesses. He told
them to make every effort to run down
the reports of the three men seen run?
ning just before the explosion.
To the newspaper men the Police
Commissioner said: "I do not wish it
understood that i am convinced en?
tirely that this disaster ?3 the result
of dynamite loaded in a wagon. I have
t.'-ver said that it was and I do not
with it understood I am working ex
| clusively on any one theory. There
; are certain developments which do not
' uphold tho explosion of dynamite in
i wagon as accounting for the wreck
i of the buildings.
'?My men have found slugs of cast
! iron ail around the scene of the dia
' aster. They resemble window sash
weights broken in pieces, but they do
not come from windows in this vicinity
as far as we can find out.
"We are investigating very thor?
oughly the theory that this has been
i tht work of bomb plotters. We have
j mer? working on the reported escape
of three men between Williams and
I Hanover streets and Wall Street, who
' ar? said to have leaped into an auto
' mobile and darted away. We do not
j know what any of these theories are
| worth, but we are working on all of
them. Wo ?have about thirty leads
which we are following up to ascertain
the real cause of the disaster."
Band of Anarchists Blamed
Frank Francisco, one of the inves
! tigators of the Department of Justice,
' who at first expressed the opinion
? that the explosion was an accident, af
! ter further investigation said he had
' changed his mind and that it was
j undoubtedly the work of a band of
"It is possible that the wagon was
j loaded with explosives tightly con
I fined with the iron missiles and then
[ driven to Wall Street and abandoned.
? In this case the whole thing was ex
i ploded by means of a timing deyice
1 get for 12 o'clock."
i He commented upon the fact that
l the explosion had occurred the day
after the last members of the "Red |
Squad" of the Department of Jus?
tice had been disbanded. This squad
has been active in running down bomb
plots ever since the war, and the last
forty members were taken olf this
work September 15.
Division Superintendent George
Lamb of the local bureau of the De?
partment of Justice came to the scene
of the disaster within a few minutes
after it occurred with twenty special ,
?gents. These men were immediately l
set to work.
Mr. Lamb refused to make any com
ment upon the cause of the explosion. !
It is known, however, that after a '
complete investigation the men work- :
ing under his supervision had become '
convinced that it was the work of a !
group of anarchists.
Believes Time Bomb Was Used
Other officials early on the scene to :
investigate were District Attorney
Swann and a number of his assistants.
Some time later Alfred J. Talley, chief j
Assistant District Attorney, made the
following statement after examining
every available witness:
"The coincidence of all the facts in
this explosion is too great for it to.
have been an accident. The factors that
lead me to this belief are that the time
of the explosion was at noon, when the
greatest damage could have been done,
and the.location of the explosion was
midway between the Morgan offices and
the United States Treasury Building.
"It is quite probable that the wagon
used was similar to the kind used by
the du Pont powder people ?nd was
The Ruins of the Wagon
This is all that was left of the wapjon which is supposed to have carried
the explosive into Wall Street.
employed as a blind to throw che au- '?
thorities off the track. I believe I;
probable that a time bomb was used."
One of the most peculiar circum?
stances of the explosion was the dis
coveiy of a mysterious box in the auto?
mobile of Henry Babb, of 1632 Hatfield
Avenue, Richmond Hill. Mr. Babb is a
clerk in the National City Bank in Wall
Street. He left his automobile standing
at Wall Street and Hanover Square.
Mysterious Box in Auto
Some time after the explosion he ran
down to his car and found a black box
under the seat. The box was about a !
foot s?iuare and was encircled by sev- j
Babb i'hi not attempt to touch the j
object but called Detectives Michael J
F. Judge and Thomas Law, who were |
standing near. The detectives, afraid
it might be a bomb, carried it to the
Old Slip station, where it was immersed
in water until the arrival of operatives
from the Bureau of Combustibles.
Upon their arrival the box was trans?
ferred to their office for further. in?
vestigation. Tt was found to contain
an electric battery.
The authorities expressed the theory
last night, based on the reported hur?
ried departure of three men in an au?
tomobile from the vicinity of Babb's
enr, tnat the perpetrators of tha crime
may have had an extra electric battery
ready in case the explosion failed, and
in some unexplained manner placed it
in Babb's car instead of their own.
No Explosives in Transit
Further checking up of firms dealing
in explosives last night elicited the
following statement from Arthur Long
endyke, secretary of the construction
committee of the New York Stock Ex?
"Mr. Robert J. Eidlitz, treasurer of
Marc Eidlitz & Son, Inc., the builders
conducting the building operation for
the New York Stock Exchange, states
that he is positively informed by tho
president of the Foundation and Under?
pinning Company, which has the founda?
tion work under way, that absolutely no
explosive is in transit for the New
York Stock Exchange job and that there
was none on the way for the Stock Ex?
change at any time to-day."
ATclerk in the office of the du Pont
Powder Works in the Equitable Build?
ing said the du Pont concern did not
have a powder wagon below Sixteenth
Street at any time during the day. He
said the office force was at a lose to
explain the explosion.
1'he opinion expressed by Assistant
District Attorney Talley that the plot?
ters used a wagon similar in type to
the regular explosives-carrying wagon
is supported by the testimony of at
least two witnesses. One, William
Gluckman, an eighteen-year-old mes?
senger employed by McKeen & Co.,
brokers, of 36 Wall Street, said he
left the offices of his employers, below
the United States Assay Office, at five
minutes to 12.
Saw Red Explosives Wagon
As he left, he said, he saw a red ex?
plosives wagon going west .on Wall
Street. He paid no attention to it as
the time, but a few minutes latei
heard the report of the explosion.
The other witness was a man whe
died in the Broad Street Hospital
This man, whose name is unknown
made his statement to Dr. T. B. Wood
of the Broad Street Hospital, just be
fore he expired. ?according to Dr
Wood, the man said he had seen a red ?
explosives wagon standing near the
Sub-Treasury steps. The next moment J
he was fatally injured in the explo- ',
s i o n.
Acting Inspector John Coughlin, in ?
charge of the Detective Bureau, after
a thorough investigation said: "The j
most plausible theory as to the cau?e,
from a careful examination of the
evidence, is that the explosion was j
th>! result of a time fuse bomb con?
tained in the horse driven wagon. The
plotters undoubtedly drove up to the
position between the Assay Bjulding
and the Morgan offices, set the time
fuse, and then abandoned the wagon
r.nd sacrificed the horse. This theory
is greatly strengthened by the large
number of briiken pieces of sash
weights that have been picked up."
One of the mysterious elements con?
nected with the explosion was the car
bearing a New Jersey license that was
completely wrecked at the scene of the
explosion. ?\t first the authorities
thought this car might have been in
some manner connected with the
An investigation, however, brought
out th-e fact that it belonged to Dun?
ham S. Beiden, manager of the Fire?
men's Pharmacy at Broad and Market
streets, Newark. Mr. Beiden had
driven up a short time before the ex?
plosion for a private consultation with
Byrnes & Baker, certified accountants,
at 52 Wall Street. He said he had
parked the car at the only available
space at the time, and then had gone
up to the office of the accountants.
When he returned he found his car
completely wrecked and in flames. He
was closely questioned both by police
and Federal authorities why he left
his car a block away from his destin?
ation. He reiterated it was the only
available space at the time he arrived,
about fifteen minutes before the ex?
In order to insure a complete check?
up Department of Justice officials have
demanded all explosives companies to
turn in a detailed account of the exact
locality of all their explosives carrying
wagons at noon yesterday.
explosion Chips Granite
Fire Chief Kenlon and officers from
the Bureau of Combustibles all said
there seemed to be no doubt that the
explosion was the result of a bomb of
some kind. The former said this was
almost conclusively established by the
pieces of window sash weight found
r.bout the scene and which would not
under any circumstances be carried on
a regularly employed explosive wagon.
The terrific nature of the explosion
is emphasized by the fact that one of
the pieces of saafa weight was hauled
through n window on the thirty-eighth
floor of the Equitable Building,
Another piece struck the coping on tho
fourth floor of that building witingoeh.
force that it chipped a piece of granite
from the coping two feet long and
about a, foot deep, despite the fact
that the building is fully 200 feet from
the point where the explosion occurred.
Plot Well Planned, Bonn Says
William J. Barns, whose service is
used by the Morgan bank, made a two
hour examination of the scene. He
said the several hundred iron slugs
picked op by the police and found to
have gone through windows as high as
the thirty-second story of the Bankers
Trust Building was the best evidence
so far obtained that the explosion was
"The evidence shows beyond a doubt
that it was the result of a plot," said
Mr. Burns. "My theory is that the
man assigned to carry the plot into
effect drove up with the wagon loaded
with explosives and then disappeared,
leaving the horse, wagon and bomb to
their fate. The explosive might have
been dynamite, nitroglycerine or TNT.
It is foolish to say that it could not
have been dynamite because no hole
was made in the street pavement. No
one can ever tell what dynamite will do.
"As to the make-up of the bomb, ray
experience leads me to believe that it
was set off by a mechanism, probably
an alarm clock. That was the kind of
mechanism used in the McNamara
dynamite plots. The alarm probably
was set for 12 o'clock. When 12 o'clock
came the winding hand at the back of
the clock was released, which caused a
battery connection to be made, which
with the spark thus caused'brought on
"The bomb was carefully prepared.
The iron slugs, ranging in thickness
from one to two inches and from threa
to five inches in length, and heavy
enough to do the destruction of small
cannon balls, were so placed about the
explosive that they would be shot up
and around like a spray, thuff- killing
the greatest possible number of people
within a given reach.
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