Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later

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Still a very sad traumatic story. My mom worked in a factory in Philadelphia in the 50's. The unions helped. It is so unbelievable that the owners were not prosecuted more than what they were. What a travesty! – Crystal Robinson, Sicily, Italy   24 Mar 2011

Thank you for sharing this story and making a difference in the labor communitys – ARS, Ontario, CA   24 Mar 2011

Thank you. I highly recommend the Tenement Museum in NYC for anyone interested in the day-to-day lives of immigrant garment workers. – Jake Edmondson, San Diego   24 Mar 2011

Thank you for this wonderful site. I had heard bits and pieces about this fire in my youth from my grandfather. His mother my great grandmother was a survivor. It is chilling to see her name on the list. ( Dora Axelrod ) Bless all involved. – wrr, cleveland, ohio   24 Mar 2011

this is a beautiful site, very nicely done. thank you for creating it, sharing it, and commemorating these workers. – marci m, athens, ga   24 Mar 2011

Rest in Peace – Rose Caporale, New Jersey   24 Mar 2011

So glad to see such a comprehensive site - 100 years later these souls are still prayed for. Despite the tragedy, that is more than most of us can ask. Their deaths certainly weren't in vain. – LAA, Denver, CO   24 Mar 2011

The Triangle Factory Fire will never be forgotten. It is the premier example of the necessity of Unions in NY and a historical example of the disregard of immigrant rights. One hundred years later and this unforgettable event, still in the heart of many, has yet to cease to being relevant to New York's future. – C.R Jr, New York, New York   24 Mar 2011

Thank you for putting this together. I think it needs National distribution as a reminder of why Unions were started in the first place, and how they have positively impacted our working conditions and wages today. – SJ, St Paul MN   24 Mar 2011

Thinking of what workers had to endure and the efforts they undertook to better their working conditions, at great personal risk, is a long story of which we should be proud. So many people now though, especially among the young, have never learned of these events and the sufferings of their forebearers. This is a pity - and a disgrace to the memory of those who suffered. It is no wonder then, that those who have no knowledge of the labor movement are abused by their bosses now, enduring low wages and arbitrary firings and lay-offs. The lesson: know your history, as such disregard of the past will certainly harm you. – JG, Salt Lake City   24 Mar 2011

Never forget the tragedy of the Triangle Fire. – Kenneth Wolman, Bristol, PA   24 Mar 2011

Very sad, one can only hope that in today’s world of industry we have enough layers of Safety in place to prevent such a reoccurrence. – Ken Madere, Metairie, Louisiana   24 Mar 2011

I am one of the three youngest (along with my cousin and younger brother) descendants of great grandma Clara. Let's just say we in the family are proud of her. – Joshua C. Velson, Ithaca, NY   24 Mar 2011

This is such a sad story. I recently watched a docu-drama on this incident and it was so powerful. It's so sad to think about all the lives that were lost and what could've been done to prevent such a tragedy. – Angelica C., Rochester, NY   23 Mar 2011

Thank you for reminding us that money and greed would always win if we did not keep the workers history alive. Member of SEIU Local 113. – Belinda Flanagan, Bloomington, MN   23 Mar 2011

I never had heard of this and read the whole website..What a tragedy and with that the work place is a lot safer.. – Rhonda F., Soldotna, AK   23 Mar 2011

This site should be required reading for all public safety code officials. – Fire Marshal H. Stormer, Southbury, CT   23 Mar 2011

this is so sad i keep your familes in my pray – Cheron Upshaw, hillside,Nwe Jersey   23 Mar 2011

A senseless tragedy caused by greed and the absence of humanity. A reminder of our fight now in 2011. Stan Colenso from Butte, Montana – Stan Colenso, Fountain, Colorado   23 Mar 2011

Excellent documentary – but so sad for the lives lost due to greed, under the umbrella of $money$, of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the owners – Dan J., Dallas, TX   23 Mar 2011

Just a letter to thank the creators of this site for keeping American history alive. It isnt just the largest tragedies that impact our lives today, its the small, almost forgotten tragedies that make us who we are now. My heart goes to the 146 lives lost that day, they will never be forgotten – Treanna Venglar, Denver, Colorado   23 Mar 2011

The documentary tells a sad tale for New York. Those deaths should not have happened. Labor laws were forever changed by the event. I am always impacted by the story since I found out that the 2nd wife of my great uncle was born 5 months after the fire and was named for her aunt Esther Hochfeld who perished that fateful day. – Steve Weinreich,, St. Louis, Missouri   23 Mar 2011

My grandfather, Daniel J Drout, was a fireman from the Bronx who assisted at the fire. He said it was horrible. In answer to Michael Hirsch, fewer people would have died if not for the corporate greed of cigarette manufacturers who had shortly before started adding harmful chemicals to cigarette papers so the cigs wouldn't go out when not drawn. My grandfather worked to educate legislators about the statistics of fire incidence before & after those chemicals were introduced, alas, to no avail. Now, the problem is "cured" by the addition of still more harmful chemicals! Try not to support today's corporations which are the worst, such as cigarette manufacturers. – Sarah Striffler, Ithaca, NY   22 Mar 2011

Thank God for unions & Samuel Gomphers. May the statement, "If you don't work on Sunday don't come to work on Monday. You will be fired." ever be said to a worker, again. – Marianne Geller Gruskin, FL, formerly LI   22 Mar 2011

t errible heart breaking tragedy – bill desser, n.babylon,n.y.   22 Mar 2011

I am just in shock at the sheer amount of information compiled on this site. This must truly be a labor of love for our fellow humans to not ever let these tragic events be lost in history. I knew very littls about this fire until reading here. Thank you for the education and the hard work involved, I will never forget. – Ginger Fetterman, Bismarck, North Dakota   22 Mar 2011

This is sobering. What we take for granted now in terms of our workplace expectations is something these workers could never imagine having. It is through their tragic deaths that we have safeguards for ourselves and future generations. My sympathies to the families of those lost and many thanks to the survivors whose testimony helped change workplace conditions. – Carol A., Elk Grove, California   22 Mar 2011

I am a retired auto woker and I am well aware of labor history. My father and uncles were active in the 1934 Teamster Strike, here in Minneapolis. The battle of the garment workers should be taught in schools today but it isn't and that is a shame. – Joseph Williams, Mineapolis, MN   22 Mar 2011

this is a great website. Cornell has done the victims a great honor by creating this memorial. – FF/EMT Andrew Cannito, Malta, NY   22 Mar 2011

It was a terrible accident,that made me cry.THE OWNERS SHOULDN'T HAVE GONE HOME FREE.many lives were lost and nothing was done to owners.If anything the owners got paid because of the fire and the lives lost. – a.g, new york   22 Mar 2011

Having just learned about the Triangle Fire, I am appalled at the idea that these women and girls were literally locked in. With now regard to their safety, or even a thought as to what they would do if there were an emergency. We should all remember these women, and never forget that they lost their lives due to a tragic event. – JSB, Arkansas   22 Mar 2011

Thank you for the hard work and diligence in gathering this information about individual workers. I recall pictures of my grandfather employed as a "presser" in a small factory in Buffalo NY @ year 1920. I never really appreciated his hard work and sacrifice until reading about these victims. – rita, tulsa   22 Mar 2011

Our High School One Act did a play on this event. The kids gave a fantastic effort and went to state competition. The story was heartbreaking but the kids performed flawlessly. Our small school play production brought this tragic event to our attention and made us all feel for these young women who suffered so long ago. Your website will keep that memory going. – Gus Bentz, Spencer, NE   22 Mar 2011

angels, all of them... – Denise DiPaolo-Poehlman, Nebraska   22 Mar 2011

Thank you for this. I home school my kids and this is so important to worker history that this site will be well used! My Dad was a NYC firefighter and I grew up hearing of the after effects it had on the fire dept. as well. Solidarity! Now ! There are still sweatshops in NYC and elsewhere.. – S, Mississippi   22 Mar 2011

Thank you for this. I home school my kids and this is so important to worker history that this site will be well used! My Dad was a NYC firefighter and I grew up hearing of the after effects it had on the fire dept. as well. Solidarity! Now ! There are still sweatshops in NYC and elsewhere.. – S, Mississippi   22 Mar 2011

I finally saw this documentary and it was so interesting. As you can see I too have the same last name as Catherine, Lucia and Rosaria. At the end of the documentary, when the names were being called, It really dawned on me. I guess, the way they were being called, in the true Italian pronunciation, is what first threw me. Very possibly were related, but who knows. My dad certainly would have found this very interesting also. My grandmother on my mothers side was also a great seamstress and had done a lot of work with sequins on very elegant gowns. I remember her doing that when we were small. I still remeber a few stories of when she used to travel into New York to pick up her work. My grandfather died very young and she supported her family doing this. – Adrienne Maltese, North Brunswick, New Jersey   22 Mar 2011

I watched the special on HBO about the fire. I first learned about it while attending the University of Texas at Austin in the 1970's. It is the truest and most terrible truth about the need for unions. The truth is that the bosses didn't care at all then and a lot of them only care now because of penalties for not doing the right thing. – Phil, New Braunfels, Tx.   21 Mar 2011

I am representing Ida Jukovsky in a commerative service at the Eldrige Street Synagogue in Manhattan on Sunday March 27th. – Rosalie Harman, Brooklyn, New York   21 Mar 2011

I feel that revisiting the history that brought about Union representation is much needed at this time is history. I feel people are ignorant when it comes to what created the need for Unions and representation for workers. – K Jordan, ALaska   21 Mar 2011

We will never forget! This is why we need unions. Otherwise, we are just fodder for the capitalist machinery. I plan to do a memory walk for these victims on Friday, and toll the bell at 3:45 here (4:45 ET) in honor of these souls, voiceless then but speaking powerfully now. – LLG, Wisconsin   21 Mar 2011

Since the Sunday Morning show hilighting this fire, I see there are several books out on the subject. Any idea which is the best, most accurate, comprehensive version of those available? – msl, florida   21 Mar 2011

I've read about this tragic fire before and visited the site because of the pending 100 year anniversary Those that died did not die in vain. Improved fire codes and labor laws were enacted. What I didn't know was that so many lives were saved by law students next door. May God continue to bless all of the victims and their famalies. – Steve Sayer, Aliso Viejo, CA   21 Mar 2011

i used this topic for a school project, and i was utterly facinated. at first i didnt like the book, but i made myself read it, and i am very glad that i did. i used this website-soley- for my info. gathering, and my ELA teacher was atounded. i got a very good grade, and this site was very helpful. i didnt find another reliable source for infromation. i want to continue reading about this. Thank you! p.s the book i read was called "Ashes of Roses" by Mary Jane Auch – Phoebe H., Natick, MA   21 Mar 2011

We've come a long way since this tragedy but, unfortunately, people are still forced to work in sweatshops and under substandard conditions. – Cindy C., New York City, NY   21 Mar 2011

Been reading this site but see very little info on how the fire started. Just a few "I heard" comments about maybe it being from a dropped lighter. Was there ever an investigation on how it started? Or who started it? I will continue to search but so far I see very little on this. – DM, Whittier, CA   21 Mar 2011

I proofread The Triangle Fire in 1961 and have never lost interest, as a retired officer of ILGWU and UNITE. My family thanks you for the continued interest in the Fire. – Walter A. Stein, Manalapan NJ   21 Mar 2011

I learned about the fire as a child in Harry Golden's book, "Only in America." My husband worked in the building in the 1970's as a grad student at NYU. By accident, I came upon one of the anniversaries a few years back. Yellow roses, one for each victim as the bell rang out... never forgotten, their legacy as righteous victims of unfettered greed during the pre union era will never diminish no matter how much Republican lawmakers try to wipe it away. – Gabby Weiss, New Jersey   21 Mar 2011

The lives of these workers was not lost in vain. May God grant them eternal rest, and may they live in the remembrances of all those who care about workers' and human rights everywhere. – DFW, Saratoga Springs, NY   21 Mar 2011

I was doing a history paper on this subject and this was that site where I had to gather my information. All of the info is easy to access here and everything is clearly put. This is a very sad story but all we can do is look back and think about how stupid the owners of the building were. – L.A. Nazario, Orlando, Florida   21 Mar 2011

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