Portsmouth Train Wreck of 1909
  • Print
Written by SeacoastNH Archive

463 Train wreck detail00SeacoastNH.com Presents  
Historic Portsmouth #463  

This isn't the best view of the famous train wreck at Portsmouth Station in May 1909, but it is certainly the strangest perspective I've seen. Notice that all the people in the photograph are looking, not at the wreck, but at the cameraman. There is a boy on the lower left and one of the men on the right foreground seems to be holding a knife in his hand. (Continued below) 

 

A group of men with a boy and a girl are standing directly in front of the train in the background. I'll try to find a better shot of the accident itself in the future and fill in a few more details. One man was instantly killed and seven injured in the noontime crash that could be heard a mile away. From the Portsmouth Herald report we read: " Fireman EDWARD HARNDEN of the switching engine was killed instantly, his body being terribly jammed between the tender of his engine and the passenger locomotive, and was burned and scalded. RICHARD PRAY, who was running the shifter, was also pinned in almost the same way as HARNDEN, and when taken out, was barely alive." (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum) 

Portsmouth NH Train wreck 1909

BONUS PHOTO & CLOSE-UP

Bonus Wreck Portsmouth NH 1909

463 Wreck detail

Photos copyright Portsmouth Athenaeum
All rights reserved
as seen on SEACOASTNH.com