This badge was awarded to Chicagoan August Holdorf circa 1919 by Peter M. Hoffman of the Cook County Coroner's Office for Holdorf's "valued services" during the capsizing of the S.S. Eastland in 1915. It was donated to the Chicago Historical Society by his daughter in 1982.
The image of the ship represents the S.S. Eastland, an excursion steamer from South Haven, Michigan that capsized in the Chicago River on July 24, 1915.
This badge was awared to Chicagoans who offered assistance during the tragedy and aftermath of the Eastland Disaster. On July 14, 1915 while loading 2,500 Western Electric employees and their families for a picnic in Indiana, the steamer S.S. Eastland capsized at its dock in the Chicago River, killing more than 800 passengers. The Eastland had had a history of instability, and the addition of lifeboats and increased capacity made it dangerously top-heavy. When the accident occurred, both rescue personal and untrained passersbys aided victims. They pulled them from the river, threw improvised flotation devices, and rescued trapped passengers. In the aftermath, volunteers helped set up temporary morgues and raised money for victim's families. The Cook County Coroner's Office awarded this badge to August Holdorf four years after the event.