Explore the Impact of the Explosion

On May 22, 1919, a small fire at the Douglas Starch Works created an explosion resulting in one of the worst industrial accidents in Iowa history. When the explosion boomed at the Douglas Starch Works plant in 1919, people around Cedar Rapids felt the blast. Homes lost shingles and windows were blown in. Buildings were damaged and shops were closed. Households experienced loss as 44 people died.

Explore how the explosion impacted locations across Cedar Rapids by clicking on the map below:


The locations indicated on this map are based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture report, local newspaper accounts, and Sanborn maps.