Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later

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What our visitors are saying...

Beautifully done - am reading the Leon Stein book and was pleased to see that the major university I work for is having a class/memorial on this terrible fire. My grandmother who was from Poland worked in a similar sweatshop in Massachusetts under terrible conditions. So sad. – Faith, California   10 Mar 2011

revisiting this tragedy through your well researched and designed website, has me reflecting on all of the clothes and other goods I buy, from factories in Asia, which employ children and others under horrific working conditions. – anne rubin, New York   9 Mar 2011

Very well done. – Travis C , Bremerton, Washington   9 Mar 2011

Very well done. – Travis C , Bremerton, Washington   9 Mar 2011

Wisconsin, needs to recognize the value of unions by studying this horrific event! – NL, Oxnard, Ca   9 Mar 2011

It's important to keep in mind the consequences of the choice to value profit so much that we don't notice when the profiteers take huge liberties with others lives. I don't think we actually value profit over people, but we do have a short memory span. Until we can remember long enough to make the consequences of taking such liberties outweigh the potential gains, tragedies like this one and more recently the BP oil spill will keep occurring. Thank you for this resource. – Christina Boardman, Santa Barbara, CA   9 Mar 2011

I am a teacher in high school and in junior college. I always retell the story of the Triangle Fire. It is the very least we can do to honor the memory of the souls lost that day. This site provides a true and lasting memorial to the victims of that terrible fire. The story must never be forgotten. Thank you for this outstanding web site and for the research you do. – Jim , Norwich, NY   9 Mar 2011

So sad it makes you cry – Sandra adams, Pennsylvania   8 Mar 2011

Abraham Starobin, my grandfather, witnessed the fire. He was a carpenter on the Lower East Side. He left his toolbox on the street in front of the building and never found it again. My grandmother, Lena Starobin née Rubenstein, worked in a similar factory from age 15. – avery, milan Italy   8 Mar 2011

I have always been intrigued by the tragedy of the Triangle Fire. Now it seems almost poetic that on this 100 year anniversary our country is engaged in whether or not to allow Unions the right for bargaining when so many brave people fought and died for what has been achieved for the workers in this country. – ALI, Oregon   8 Mar 2011

My great great grandfather died in the fire Max Lehrer he was 18 – S.D., Jacksonville, Florida   8 Mar 2011

This site is an invaluable resource for all of us who remember the fire. Thank you for the names of the 6 unidentified. The American Experience film is nothing compared to the survivor recordings posted here. – Kayla Rigney, Leadville, CO   8 Mar 2011


I lost my great grandfather Jacob Seltzer,33 in this fire. – Paul Sochinsky , East Stroudsburg P.A.   7 Mar 2011

This was and tragic accident. I respect all who died. Rest In Peace. – S.R.A, Untited States, Florida   7 Mar 2011

My great aunt died in this tragic fire at the age of 14. – gfh, Sarasota, FL   7 Mar 2011

Tragic – Teri Hermann, Boone, Iowa   7 Mar 2011

I'm not a big fan of unions, but collective bargaining should continue so we cannot return to these conditions. – Julie Bauer, Sacramento, CA   7 Mar 2011

Sorry to hear the disaster. I think the same things happen in developing contries now. When you play with your iPhone, do you know that the labour in ShenZhen are working in bad condition and earn very little money? – Jingshun Chen, Beijing China   6 Mar 2011

I was a New Yorker for most of my life and spent many hours studying its history. I must say that I was unaware ofr the Triangle disaster until i purchased a book about the fire at a marboro book shop many years ago. since then it was stayed in my thoughts till this day (3/6/2011/). my heart goes out to those innocents slaughtered by ancient labor laws. may their memories and sacrifices live on forever. – Jerome Rubin, Duluth, Minnesota   6 Mar 2011

Very moving articles. I feel so sad for the many who lost there lives as well as the loved ones left behind. We need never forget our history so we never repeat it. – Marie Marquardt, Red Hook NY 12571   6 Mar 2011

Great source of information, very interesting.. yet sad Thanks a lot! – Vanessa, New York   6 Mar 2011

I at 54, my mother who die at age 52, was a factory worker under the garment union label. I remember her taking me to work and having to hide me from an inspector......she worked hard....piece work before the union came in. I remember the sewing tables all in lines and the sounds the machines made...Here I am just learning about this event for the first time for its 100th Year event. I will say "The Chaple of The Divine Mercy" for the victims and their families on March 25th. Rest in peace, and know that the living thanks all of you for the changes within the working class you left for us. – Francesca Di Maria, Whitestone, Queens, NY   6 Mar 2011

I too am ashamed I knew nothing of this disaster until I had to research it and write a short essay response for a chapter assignment in my Industrial Safety and Health Management college course. I will study this more in-depth to hopefully learn as much as possible from this disaster. This is such a sad, preventable occurence. – Daniel Authement, Pensacola, FL   5 Mar 2011

I too am ashamed I knew nothing of this disaster until I had to research it and write a short essay response for a chapter assignment in my Industrial Safety and Health Management college course. I will study this more in-depth to hopefully learn as much as possible from this disaster. This is such a sad, preventable occurence. – Daniel Authement, Pensacola, FL   5 Mar 2011

Even as I only begin listening to the first recorded interview, I am so greatly moved. I will return to continue hearing what has been given for us to know. Thank you for this site. – Janet Drake, Framingham, MA, USA   5 Mar 2011

Yetta Rosenbaum is my great great aunt. It is awesome that on the 100 anniversary of her death, there are still people that remember her name and the names of her co-workers. – Stuart M Cheyette, Mobile AL   5 Mar 2011

I have been thinking about this fire a lot. I fear that we are going back in time when workers are not valued; when they are expendable. The goings on in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and even California have me concerned. And to learn that the 100th anniversary is this month is poignant. We can never forget these women! – Nancy P, California (grew up in Phila)   4 Mar 2011

it was interesting and a learning experience. – Joshua Karnes, Des Moines Iowa   4 Mar 2011

it was interesting and a learning experience. – Joshua Karnes, Des Moines Iowa   4 Mar 2011

In reading the comments that refer to the similar inhumane conditions that illegal immigrants struggle with, it is worth noting that Walmart continued the same feral/dangertous conditions by locking doors on their cleaning and maintenance staff to control stealing. REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU THINK OF GOING TO SHOP AT WALMART TO SAVE A FEW CENTS. – Frances Genovese, Greenwich Village, NY, NY   4 Mar 2011

Thank you for acquiring and making available this invaluable archive. This tragedy and its implications are brought to life through your excellent website. – Frances Genovese, Greenwich Village, NY, NY   4 Mar 2011

I had family die in this fire. They will always be missed and love. – Jessica Fetherson, Clear Lake, MN   4 Mar 2011

Very tragic and sad situation indeed. I did not see the PBS Special will they possibly re-air it again? presumably on the 25th of March. – carl loud, louisville, ky   4 Mar 2011

As part of a homework assignment we were asked to read as story by Sadie Frowne. In the course of that research I came upon this wesite. First let me say I thank God for the people who have worked so diligently to reform working conditions in this ocuntry and abroad. Much work is still needed. The memorial here is a tribute to the lives lost on March 25, 1911. Thank you. – Priscilla Brewer, Austin, Texas   3 Mar 2011

RIP 3 – KN, Sunrise, FL   3 Mar 2011

While surfing the channels I came across the special last night and watched with great interest. What a coincidence because my grandfather's brother, Jacob Klein, died in that fire. I never knew the fire was on March 25th. When I was born my parents named me after him to honor his memory. My birthday is March 26! Coincidence again???? – J. Roth, Little Neck, NY   2 Mar 2011

I have been reading the book titled: "Triangle: The Fire That Changed America" by David Von Drehle and this is the first that I am hearing about this horrific and profoundly woeful event. My English Professor had directed the class to this very site. I am very content in knowing, exploring and exposing my mind to this bit of social history within America. – Bruno Suarez, Houston, Texas   2 Mar 2011

Although, they didn't work at the Triangle building, my grandparents came from Italy at the same time as many of the young people who were tragically caught in the fire. Further, they did the same kind of work. For many years I have been reading of the sad plight of all the women who perished; I continue to be interested in the facinating history of Women and Labor. This is an excellent site for research. I particularly loved hearing the voices of some of the witnesses of the fire. Thank you. – Gabriella Belfiglio, Brooklyn, NY   2 Mar 2011

I am a former New Yorker and going to school in New York, I've learned about this tragedy. One thing that was not mentioned in the documentary was that the doors the ladies went to that were locked set presidence for today's fire codes. No fire door or emergency exit is to be locked and the doors are to open out away from the burning room. It was also told in school that a rumor was spread that the doors, if unlocked, would not open because of boxes and other things stored up against them. This is also another thing that is not allowed in any building today. To do so, would be a violation of the fire codes we now have in place to hopefully not have another fire like this. – Marionetta J., Nashville, Tennessee   2 Mar 2011

Thank you for this thoughtful and well designed resource. This is the labor movement's holocaust. Never again. – Tim , Woodstock, NY   2 Mar 2011

Thank you so much for this incredible resource and for keeping alive the memory of those young women and men who perished so tragically and unnecessarily in the Asch building fire. May we never forget their sacrifices and offer our prayers and thoughts to them on this, the 100th year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire. – Barbara Michaels, Inwood, West Virginia   1 Mar 2011

This tragedy hits closer to home as I have recently come to learm that both my grandmother. Henrietta's sisters Dora and Cecila Himmelstein were listed as survivors. It is not only my personal history, but one which was never discussed! Here we are - 100 years later --the concept of Unions is still under threat! – Stacy Lurie Kopet Heimlich, Forest Hills, NY   1 Mar 2011

Just read vonDrehle's book...watched the special last grandmother, Julia V., worked in a cigarette factory in her youth in Brooklyn..I am saddened by the unidentified bodies lost to history...such a tragedy... – Joe Benedek, Freehold, NJ   1 Mar 2011

"Triangle Fire" was on our local PBS station last night--very powerful. Everyone should watch this--there's a lot to be learned. – Nancy D., Artesia, NM   1 Mar 2011

I watched the PBS special, and my heart broke. They mentioned Julia Rosen and her son, Israel, who worked alongside her. Her picture was was the first time I ever saw my great grandmother and my great uncle. My grandfather and his two siblings were left as orphans, and were placed into an orphanage. I am hoping to find out info about the orphanage. Thank you for a well done documentary. My family thanks you for everything you have done. Bless you:) – Maureen Ferrante, Port Washington, NY   1 Mar 2011

I have known this story for a long time and I have never tired of hearing it. I know the story from realitives who worked in the garment industry in the early part of the last century. I know the story from my training and education as a firefighter. I see horrors like this returning. Returning is the fear of unemployment and doing what ever to save the corporation reguardless of wages, benifits, and safety concerns. Profits 1st on the backs of the working class. Corporations, CEO's Share Holders make a lot of money (Capitalism). When Unions want a peice of that pie they are demonised and called socialists! I only wish the American workers had a party working for them..... – W Fazio, Florida   1 Mar 2011

Wisconsin,anyone? – Laurence G., Old City,Philadelphia,Pa.   1 Mar 2011

as I watched th PBS special, it made me cry to realize the unnecessary loss of life because these two "men" had to get rich. – della, oklahoma   1 Mar 2011

Thank you so much ... A fabulous resource for teaching the event and the importance of primary source research. – R Bennett, Glen Cove, NY   1 Mar 2011

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