On February 4, 1922, a massive explosion of a railroad tank car carrying mixed acids was felt as far away as Sound Beach. The tank car was located at the canal waterfront factory of Richards and Co., today’s address is 845 Canal Street. The explosion destroyed one of Richards & Co. warehouses and partially destroyed another. Two workers were killed in the explosion that caused $131,000 in damage. That equates to 2.1 million dollars in today’s money.
The two men who were killed were reportedly transferring the mixed acid when the explosion occurred. The explosion was so powerful that the steel manhole cover of the tanker was blown over 100 feet into the air and 600 feet down Ludlow Street, landing in front of number 230. The rest of the tank care was blown to bits all over the area.
Some may recognize this area as the area where several Stamford Firefighters were burned in an explosion at the United Organics factory. That factory was just across the street on Ludlow Street.
The main office building of Richards & Co. remains standing today. It was the recent home of Dinosaur Barbeque, now vacant.