At 7:04 AM on May 15, the entire signal and switching system of the New York Central Railroad below 125th street was put out of operation, followed by a fire in the control tower at 57th Street and Park Avenue. Railroad officials formally assigned blame for a fire destroyed the Central New England Railroad station, to the aurora. Telegraph Operator Hatch said that he was actually driven away from his telegraph instrument by a flame that enveloped his switchboard and ignited the entire building at a loss of $6,000. Over seas, in Sweden a telephone station was ‘burned out’, and the storm interfered with telephone, telegraph and cable traffic over most of Europe. Aurora were visable in the Eastern United States, with additional reports from Pasadena California where the aurora reached zenith.

Articles found:

“Magnetic storms don’t affect radio” – [New York Times, May 26, 1921, p. 23]

“Magnetic tremors expected to pass within 48 hours” – [New York Times, May 16, 1921, p. 1]

“Cables still show effects of aurora” – [New York Times, May 18, 1921, p. 12]

“Cables damaged by sunspot aurora” – [New York Times, May 17, 1921, p. 1]

“Electric disturbances affect Frence wires” – [New York Times, May 18, 1921, p.12 ]

“Sunspot credited with rail tie-up” – [New York Times, May 16, 1921, p. 2]

“Sunspot aurora paralyzes wires” – [New York Times, May 15, 1921, p.1 ]

“Queer capers of telegraph wires caused by group of spots on sun” – [Savana Morning News, May 16, 1921, p. 1]

“A big night for aurora” – [ The Kansas CIty, May 15, 1921, p.1 ]

“Telegraph is disturbed by north lights” – [The Bismark Tribune, May 17, 1921, p.8 ]

“Borealis cause, sunspots, will diminish today” – [Chicago Tribune, May , 1921, p.4 ]

“Earth and Moon won’t fill up one sunspot – Present electric turmoil longest on record” – [Chicago Tribune, May , 1921, p.5 ]

“Sunspots tie up telegraph lines” – [The Miami Herald, May 16, 1921, p.3 ]

“Scientists say aurora borealis has about spent fury” – [ Miami Herald, May 17, 1921, p. 2]

“Aurora Borealis cripples wires: plainly seen here” – [ Philadelphia Enquirer, May 15, p.1]

Science Journal Reports:

“Solar activity May,1921” – [Observatory, vol. XLIV, p. 192-3]

“Auroral DIsplay” [Nature, May 19, 1921, p.359.]

“The Magnetic Storm of May 13-15”, [Nature, May 26, 1921, p.392]

“The recent, large sunspot group” [Nature, May 26, 1921, p. 399]

“The great sunspot group and magnetic disturbances, May 8-21” [Nature, June 2, 1921, p.426]



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