The Pennsylvania State Archives

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Donora Smog Disaster October 30-31, 1948

(spelling and usage retained from original document)

Webster, Pa

October 31, 1948

Hon. James H. Duff

Harrisburg, Pa

Dear Sir,

I am writing for "Smoke Control" in Washington County. Pittsburgh has it, why can't Donora after the tragedy of October 30 and 31st.

The Zinc Works has ruined Donora and Webster. The company has talked about moving it for years but nothing has been done about it. Perhaps this will awaken some of the high officials who have built beautiful homes outside of Donora in the surrounding country where vegetation will grow.

The towns of Monessen, Charleroi and Monongahela adjacent to Donora and Webster had fog, but there weren't 20 deaths as Donora and Webster had. There is something in the Zinc Works causing these deaths.

The Zinc Works is very old fashioned. It could be moved and electric furnaces installed. That would help consume the fumes and do away with the awful acid and smoke. It eats the paint off your houses. Even fish can't live in the Monongahela River, the bank on which the mill is situated.

I would not want men to lose their jobs, but your life is more precious than your job.

They closed the smelting plant today. Was found that you could breathe normally without having the air polluted with acid fumes.

Webster was here before the Donora Zinc Works was constructed, so why should we suffer? A beautiful town is now almost a "ghost town."

I know you are quite a busy person, but will you please consider this letter just a little bit?

Thanking you, I am respectfully Yours,

Mrs. Lois Bainbridge

Box 254

Webster, Pa.