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Correspondence

(By subject and date)

Codes and Standards Top

RS Moulton to NFPA Committee on Safety to Life, circular letter, November 30, 1942. [Notice that Committee activities may be needed as result of the fire.] FULL TEXT

JR Pence to P Bugbee, telegram, November 30, 1942. [Suggested required flame proofing of places of public assemblage.] FULL TEXT

LE MacBrayne to RS Moulton, letter, December 1, 1942. [Invitation to speak before the directors of the Massachusetts Safety Council.] FULL TEXT

W McDonald to NFPA, letter, December 1, 1942. [Expressed a need for trained, independent inspectors.] FULL TEXT

LE MacBrayne to the Directors, Massachusetts Safety Council, circular letter, December 14, 1942. [Proposed changes to code regulations.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to FR Scherer, letter, December 22, 1942. [Suggested changes to the Building Exits Code.] FULL TEXT

GW Booth to RS Moulton, letter, December 28, 1942. [Request for comments on draft of NBFU’s Suggested Ordinance on Safety to Life in Places of Assembly.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to GE Booth, letter, December 29, 1942. [Response to Booth’s December 28, 1942 letter.] FULL TEXT

NBFU, circular letter, [January 1943]. [Memorandum on NBFU’s Suggested Ordinance on Safety to Life in Places of Assembly.] FULL TEXT

CE Beach to RS Moulton, letter, January 2, 1943. [The probable ineffectiveness of automatic sprinklers on saving lives and diminishing burns in the Cocoanut Grove fire.] FULL TEXT

FR Scherer to RS Moulton, letter, January 4, 1943. [Comments on suggested changes to Building Exits Code.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to CE Beach, letter, January 6, 1943. [Response to Beach’s January 2, 1943 letter.] FULL TEXT

J Lee to EJ Slate, letter, January 8, 1943. [Questioning proper enforcement of Boston’s building permits and code compliance.] Collection of the Boston Athenæum FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to FR Scherer, letter, January 9, 1943. [Response to Scherer’s January 4, 1943 letter.] FULL TEXT

FR Davis to P Bugbee, letter, January 25, 1943. [The probable ineffectiveness of automatic sprinklers on saving lives and diminishing burns in the Cocoanut Grove fire.] FULL TEXT

RF Petrasek to RS Moulton, letter, January 27, 1943. [Suggested using trained consultants as inspectors.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to RF Petrasek, letter, January 29, 1943. [Response to Petrasek’s January 27, 1943 letter.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to NFPA Committee on Safety to Life, circular letter, January 30, 1943. [Suggestion to a change  to the Building Exits Code.] FULL TEXT

CE Beach to RS Moulton, letter, February 1, 1943. [Comments on NFPA’s published Report on the fire.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to FR Davis, letter, February 1, 1943. [Response to Davis’ January 27, 1943 letter to P Bugbee.] FULL TEXT

GW Booth to RS Moulton, letter, February 2, 1943. [Reply to Moulton’s comments on NBFU’s Suggested Ordinance on Safety to Life in Places of Assembly.] FULL TEXT

P Bugbee to WE Mallalieu, letter, February 2, 1943. [Comments on NBFU’s Suggested Ordinance on Safety to Life in Places of Assembly.] FULL TEXT

SV James to RS Moulton, letter, February 2, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to GW Booth, letter, February 3, 1943. [Response to Booth’s February 2, 1943 letter.] FULL TEXT

FR Scherer to RS Moulton, letter, February 4, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

RG Kimbell to RS Moulton, letter, February 5, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

CE Beach to RS Moulton, letter, February 6, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

RB Davis to RS Moulton, letter, February 6, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

HM Hathaway to RS Moulton, letter, February 8, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

FR Davis to RS Moulton, letter, February 9, 1943. [The probable ineffectiveness of automatic sprinklers on saving lives and diminishing burns in the Cocoanut Grove fire.] FULL TEXT

CT Bissell to RS Moulton, Letter, February 10, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

JL Keane to RS Moulton, letter, February 15, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT

HJ Schweim to RS Moulton, letter, February 18, 1943. [Response to letter of February 6, 1943.] See attachment: SS-A-188, Federal Standard Stock Catalog, Section IV (Part 5) Federal Specification for Acoustical-Units: Prefabricated, November 20, 1939, effective August 15, 1940. FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to HJ Schweim, letter, February 23, 1943. [Response to letter of February 13, 1943.] FULL TEXT

WH Sechrist to RS Moulton, letter, March 1, 1943. [Response to Moulton’s January 30th circular letter to the members of the NFPA Committee on Safety to Life.] FULL TEXT


The Fire Top

Anonymous to U.S. Attorney General, letter, November 30, 1942. [Suggested that the FBI investigate the fire.] FULL TEXT

Department of Justice [name redacted] to Mr. Ladd, memorandum, November 30, 1942. [Reference to telephone call suggesting sabotage.] FULL TEXT

Department of Justice [name redacted] to Mr. Ladd, memorandum, November 30, 1942. [Clarification of involvement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the investigation of the fire.] 

LE MacBrayne to MJ Tobin, letter, November 30, 1942. [Proposal to set up training for night club personnel for emergency responses.] FULL TEXT

EA Tamm to JE Hoover, memorandum, November 30, 1942. [Clarification of FBI investigation into the fire.] Courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society. FULL TEXT

JE Hoover to the Attorney General, memorandum, December 5, 1942. [Arranged to study the properties of the DuPont fire retardant.] FULL TEXT

Madigan to FBI, telegram, December 5, 1942. [Newspaper account of FBI probe.] FULL TEXT

Unknown [redacted] to JE Hoover, letter, December 16, 1942. [Conspiracy theory.] FULL TEXT

JP Vahey to JH Kelly, memorandum, (ca. 1970). [Cover memo to a condensed report of the fire with cover memo from JH Kelly to Boston Fire Officers and Fire Prevention Inspectors.] FULL TEXT


First Responders Top

WHG Giblin to JH Heckman, telegram, November 29, 1942. [Preliminary report on Red Cross involvement.] FULL TEXT

Unknown to JH Heckman, telegram, November 29, 1942. [Update on Red Cross involvement.] FULL TEXT

W Giblin to JH Heckman, telegram, December 1, 1942. [Update on Red Cross involvement.] FULL TEXT

LA Odde to C Gates, letter, December 3, 1942. [Update on Newton (Mass.) and Malden (Mass.) Red Cross involvement.] FULL TEXT

WA Parker to JR Hamlen, letter, January 13, 1943. [Applauds work done by the Red Cross.]


The Grove Top

P. MacDonald to KD Ball, letter, nd. [Provenance of chairs and plate donated to the Boston Fire Museum.] FULL TEXT


Ignition Theories Top

WH Katz to RF Malton [sic] (Moulton), telegram, December 1, 1942. [Questioned whether air condition ducts were clean or metal.] FULL TEXT

Unknown[name redacted] to JE Hoover, letter, December 1, 1942. [Natural  gas as possible ignition source.] FULL TEXT

Unknown [name redacted] to JE Hoover, letter, December 3, 1943. [Copy of letter sent from the Connecticut Tuberculosis Commission to Fire Commissioner Reilly suggesting sodium nitrate as the ignition source.] Courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society.  FULL TEXT

Unknown [name redacted] to EA Tamm, memorandum, December 3, 1942. [DuPont fireproofing as possible ignition source.] Courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society. FULL TEXT

EA Tamm to JE Hoover, memorandum, December 3, 1942. [DuPont fire retardant as a possible ignition source.] Courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society. FULL TEXT

EP Coffey to Mr. Tracy, memorandum, December 4, 1942. [Study of duPont’s fire retardant “CM” as possible ignition source.] Courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society. FULL TEXT

WI Russell to A Lake, letter, December 4, 1942. [Suggested methyl chloride from the refrigeration units as a possible ignition source.] FULL TEXT

Unknown [name redacted] to the FBI, letter, December 14, 1942. [Sabotage by foreign aliens.] FULL TEXT

JE Hoover to Unknown [redacted], letter, December 21, 1942. [Reply to December 3, 1992 by the State of Connecticut Tuberculosis Commission’s request to consider sodium nitrate as the ignition source.] Courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society. FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to WJ Scott, letter, December 26, 1942. [Discounting alcohol fumes as the ignition source.] FULL TEXT

AS Dickinson to P Bugbee, letter, February 8, 1943. [Discounting cellulose nitrate film as the ignition source.] FULL TEXT

RS Moulton to AS Dickinson, letter, February 11, 1943. [Response to Dickinson’s February 8, 1943 letter.] FULL TEXT

WY Kimball to NFPA, memorandum, March 16, 1944. [Recap of efforts to obtain an electrical report by HC Witherell.] FULL TEXT


Official Reports Top

RS Moulton to RT Bushnell, letter, January 12, 1943. [Changes to the draft of the NFPA report.] FULL TEXT


Victims Top

Unknown [redacted] to FBI, telegram, November 30, 1943. [Request to file fingerprints of unidentified victim.] FULL TEXT

SJ Tracy to Mr. Tolson, memorandum, November 30, 1942. [Offer of FBI assistance.]  FULL TEXT

J Lee to C Lund, letter, December 24, 1942. [Poses steam from radiator valve as possible lung injury source.]Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

H Minott to NFPA, letter, August 10, 1944. [Disagreeing with the death toll number used by NFPA.] FULL TEXT


People Top

J Lee to HE Fellows, letter, December 9, 1942. [Request for radio interview to counter remarks by Mayor Tobin.] Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

J Lee to RT Bushnell, letter, December 10, 1942. [Accuses Mayor Tobin of political corruption.] Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

J Lee to RT Bushnell, letter, December 11, 1942. [Accuses Mayor Tobin of using “repeater” voters.] NOTE: Referenced enclosure not found. Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

J Lee to F.B.I., letter, December 15, 1942. [Accuses Mayor Tobin of voter fraud and cronyism.] NOTE: Referenced enclosure not found. Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

J Lee to A West., letter, December 15, 1942. [Accuses Mayor Tobin of voter fraud and cronyism.] Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

J Lee to EJ Slate, letter, December 21, 1942. [Reference to Massachusetts statute on corruption.] Collection of the Boston Athenæum. FULL TEXT

J Lee to GR Farnum, letter, December 22, 1942. [Reference to letter Lee wrote to Bushnell about SlateJ.] Collection of the Boston Athenæum. 

A West to Dear Responsible Citizen, circular letter, January 4, 1943. [Corruption influencing the investigation into the fire.] FULL TEXT

KD Ball to C Kenney, letter, n.d. [Interview with Vera Daniels]. Courtesy of Boston Public Library. FULL TEXT

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