On this day: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day, a century ago, 146 people lost their lives as a result of the fire at the Triangle Waist Company. Most were burned to death. At least fifty jumped out windows to be smashed on the pavement nine stories below.

Click here to read their names. Clicking a victim's name will bring up more information: married or single, religion, counry of origin, how long in the U.S., address, burial place, union member.

The list of names is part of "Remembering The Triangle Factory Fire", an online resource provided by Cornell University's ILR (Industrial and Labor Relations) School. It includes a model of the 9th floor, interviews with survivors and witnesses, photographs and illustrations, and much more.

The New York Times has covered the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire extensively and impressively in the weeks leading up to the centenary. Beneath this article are links to many more articles, including another list of names, this one with a map showing where the victims lived; an article about the labor activist Clara Lemlich; a piece about how the building that housed the Triangle Waist Company in 1911 is used today by New York University; and many contemporary accounts of the fire from the archives.

Click here for a City Room selection of articles about the fire. Scroll down an inch to read contemporary accounts from the front pages of other newspapers, including The Chicago Sunday Tribune, the Jewish Forward, The World, etc. Scroll down a little farther for an article about Ruth Sergel, who chalks information about the victims in front of the buildings where they lived. In that article, about two inches down, is a picture of the view from a ninth floor window of the Triangle building.

Six previously unidentified victims "have been identified largely through the persistence of a researcher, Michael Hirsch, who became obsessed with learning all he could about the victims after he discovered that one of those killed, Lizzie Adler, a 24-year-old greenhorn from Romania, had lived on his block in the East Village.

"And so, for the first time, at the centennial commemoration of the fire on March 25 outside the building in Greenwich Village where the Triangle Waist Company occupied the eighth, ninth and 10th floors, the names of all 146 dead will finally be read."

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