Friday, March 25, 2011

Triangle Shirtwaist Catastrophe

100 years ago today 146 people, mostly women, mostly new immigrants, many of them Jews, perished in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York. The world has changed dramatically since then, and the horrible deaths contributed their bit to some of the beneficial changes.

The article behind the link ends with allusions to present-day political disagreements, while admitting the comparisons aren't very useful. Non-unionized immigrant women cooped up in a fire trap by rapacious factory owners a century ago don't tell us much about well-payed teachers employed by the public today. Yet this shouldn't hide the fact that a century ago the unions were on the right side of the story, and many important parts of the story still remained to be told, and people suffered - and sometimes died - because they hadn't yet been told.


Silke said...


how does one say the quantity makes the poison correctly in English?

RK said...

A friend has a website on the fire, including the first monthly chapter of the revised diary of a man who saved 29 of the women. (Hebrew and English follow the Yiddish.) Recommended.

RK said...

Forgot the URL: