Black Tom Shell
A woman in Whitehouse Station, NJ has an explosive artifact in her possession: a large, intact artillery shell, along with a note in her mother's handwriting which reads “Black Tom Explosion of 1914.”
Elaine's mother's record-keeping is off; it was not 1914, but July 30, 1916 when a German spy ring carried out a well-planned set of synchronized explosions on Black Tom Island in New York's harbor, using the United States' own cache of munitions produced to aid Britain and France in World War I.
Two million pounds of exploding ammunition rocked the country as far away as Philadelphia, blew the windows out of nearly every high rise in lower Manhattan, injuring hundreds.
History Detectives determines whether this shell was involved in one of the earliest foreign terrorist attacks on American soil.
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Lindbergh Engine Could a 24-year-old have single-handedly built the engine for Lindbergh's plane?
- Also in Season 7 Manhattan Project Patent Was this drawing part of America's secret plans to fuel the atomic bomb?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Birth Control Box Could this unusual wooden box be an early contraceptive device?
- Related Investigation Doc Holliday's Watch Was this watch a gift from the fearless frontier lawman Wyatt Earp to the gambler Doc Holliday?
- Related Investigation Suffrage Pennant What can this pennant tell us about one woman's role at a crucial point in Women's Suffrage movement?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Navajo Rug Why would a weaver depart from tradition to make this rug?
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