Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later


Phone Interviews

Leon Stein's Notes from Five Phone Interviews

Interviewed: April & May 1958

Abraham Liner - Phone Interview

Worked on 9th floor but left Triangle before the fire and went to work for firm across the street. Week before the fire, Bernstein offered him a quarter raise to return but Liner did not go back to work for Triangle. His machine was near front. Never knew of fire escape.

Morris Solomon - Phone Interview

At one time, member of Local 10. Cutter at the time of the fire. Signed card which gave employer right to discharge Solomon at any time. Worked at Triangle twice. Paid Bernstein $10 to let him learn trade. Worked there 1 year and never knew about Washington Pl. elevator or staircase. Door was locked -iron gate.

On the 8th floor where he worked there were about 40 cutters and 100 operators.

Second time he worked for Triangle he worked as sloper on expensive things.

Harris had lost a finger. Blank went to jail, went broke and used phony checks.

Morris Goldstein, guerrilla, set fire.

David Schulman - Phone Interview

Was 15 years old - cutter (was fired for saying hello to girl), also Philip Rosenwasser.

Tables whole side of shop - 180 feet. Out 120 ply with short knives only.

Saul Gilbert - Phone Interview

Gilbert said at the time of the fire he was 18 years old and working for Regal Shoes. He had come down the street and entered the building across from the Asch Building to deliver a pair of $3.95 shoes, which were considered a high priced shoe at that time. By coincidence, that week in school, Gilbert had studied the acceleration rate of a falling body in his physics class. The street was quiet and no fire engines were in sight when he saw the first body fall. He remained frozen with wonder and fear in vestibule of the building now housing book shop.

Daniel Charnin - Phone Interview

At the time of the Triangle Fire he was driving a horse-drawn wagon for Wanamakers. He had heard fire engines screeching and saw people leaning out of the windows. He jumped from his wagon as it pulled up to the building and ran to help hold blankets but people kicked at him and hollered "get out of here, kid, do you want to get killed?" He was afraid to go home and that night slept in the park at Avenue A and E. 10th St.

Eva Zarrel - Phone Interview Notes

She worked on the 8th floor at time of fire. Fortunately, she says, she was able to reach open hallway door at freight side and started down with the fire in her back. When she came to the landing on the 7th and 8th floor, the way was blocked by 'Beatrice' who had fainted and was stretched across the entire staircase. In her excitement, Eva Zarrel took her under the armpits and dragged Beatrice down the stairs to the next floor landing. She said that she was sure that if she had not done so Beatrice would have been trampled to death.