Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later

PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATIONS

Mourning & Protest, Victims & Survivors

  • The day after the blaze, grief stricken crowds gathered at the site of the tragedy crying out the names of their loved ones, begging for information, and struggling to come to terms with the reality of their worst fears.
  • Because the city morgue was too small to hold the large number of fire victims, the covered end of the 26th Street pier was converted into a temporary morgue. Thousands gathered there even before ambulances arrived. Through the night and into the next day they waited, eventually identifying the dead from a familiar ring, a mended stocking, a scrap of clothing.
  • “Crowds Sunday morning. New York Morgue X.” Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • At the 26th Street pier morgue, family members and friends had the nightmarish duty of walking past numbered coffins and examining each of the victims’ remains in an attempt to identify their loved ones.
  • For endless hours police officers held lanterns to light the bodies while crowds filed past victims laid out in numbered rough-wood coffins. As the dead were identified, the coffin was closed and moved aside for the family to claim.
  • “Mourning the loss of some relative.” Those who examined the dead at the 26th Street pier morgue left shocked and horrified. Claimed bodies were sometimes returned to the morgue when family members decided that they were no longer sure it was who they had thought. Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • Family members with a young woman swooning leaving the 26th Street pier morgue. Forty-three of the fire’s victims were identified by sunrise on Sunday. Six days later, 7 were still unclaimed.
  • “One girl who escaped lost two sisters in the fire.” Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • A Catholic family mourns the death of two Triangle fire victims. Many families lost more than one member.
  • “Funeral on the East Side. Too poor for carriages.” A small group of mourners follows a horse-drawn hearse on foot through wet streets. Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • A small procession follows a hearse after the Triangle fire.
  • “Funeral in Ghetto District.” Many people gather in the street behind a horse-drawn hearse. Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • Frances Maiale and her younger sister Bettina Maiale, who died in the fire and are buried together at Calvary Cemetery.
  • “A family of the ghetto.” A family leaves the temporary morgue after searching long rows of coffins for their loved one. Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • “A family of the East Side, New York City.” A distressed family sits outside the temporary 26th Street pier morgue. Hand tinted lantern slide.
  • Women, men and children gather around a funeral wreath honoring “Annie,” a victim of the Triangle fire.
  • Rose Rosenfeld Freedman, the last known survivor of the Triangle Fire, photographed at an early age.
  • Net-draped white horses and a flower-laden carriage led a silent mourning procession on April 5, 1911 for the unidentified victims of the Triangle fire. Brought together by leaflets in English, Yiddish and Italian calling for workers to join the final tribute to the fire's victims, a parade of 100,000 mourners walking to the site of the tragedy took 6 hours to pass the 300,000 who stood respectfully in unending rain.
  • Rain on April 5th did not diminish the numbers drawn to honor the fire’s victims and to pay their respects to the 7 still-unidentified. The silent procession of 100,000 mourners marched past 300,000 others who bore witness to the sacrifices that had been made and confirmed their resolve to see justice served.
  • In the April 5th funeral procession for the seven unidentified fire victims, members of the United Hebrew Trades of New York and the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25, the local that organized Triangle Waist Company workers, carry banners proclaiming “We Mourn Our Loss.”
  • Labor unions, religious communities, political groups and social reform organizations assembled to mourn those who lost their lives and to demand real progress in worker protection. Some wore silk, metal and enamel badges such as this from the Cloak Tailors Union Local 9, “We Mourn Our Loss, April 5, 1911” with a central button containing the International Ladies Garment Workers Union label.
  • Mourners carry a bunting-draped banner in the pouring rain during the six hour procession April 5, 1911 to honor victims of the Triangle fire.
  • While this flower-laden carriage was pulled through crowded streets in silent funeral procession for the unidentified victims of the fire, the remains of the seven unclaimed victims were quietly taken from the morgue and buried in the City’s Evergreens Cemetery plot. Private burial rites were conducted for Jewish, Catholic, and Episcopal faiths.
  • Marching through cold rain and mud, protesters hoped to rally support. Signs call for fire drills in every shop, closed shops with union contracts, an end to political graft and to days spent working in fire traps.
  • Morris Bernstein was 19 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, he’d lived in the US for 18 months and was a union member. He was buried in Baron Hirsch Cemetery.
  • Josephine Cammarata was 17 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Italy, she’d lived in the US for 2 years and was engaged to be married on Easter Sunday. She was buried in Evergreens Cemetery.
  • Dora Evans was 18 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 4 years and was a union member. She was buried in Evergreens Cemetery.
  • Daisy Lopez Fitze was 26 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Jamaica/West Indies, she’d lived in the US for nearly 4 years and was buried in Evergreens Cemetery.
  • Triangle Fire victim Daisy Lopez Fitze [Fitzi] standing far right with a group of young women and one man near the shore.
  • Max Florin was 23 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, he’d lived in the US for 6 years and was a union member. He was buried in Evergreens Cemetery.
  • Ester Goldstein was 20 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 5 years and was a union member. She was buried in Baron Hirsch Cemetery.
  • Tessie Kaplan was 18 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 1 year and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Rebecca Kessler was 19 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 4 years and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Bertha Kula [Kuhler] was 19 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Austria, she’d lived in the US for 3 years and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Richmond Cemetery.
  • Benjamin Kurtz was 19 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, he’d lived in the US for 4 years and was a union member. He was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Annie L’Abbatte was 16 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Italy, she’d lived in the US for 6 years and was buried in Calvary Cemetery.
  • Fannie Lansner was 21 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 4 years and was buried in Acacia Cemetery.
  • Pauline Levine was 19 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she was a union member and was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Rose Liermark [Liernark] was 19 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 3 and a half years and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Annie Nicholas was 18 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 17 years and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Fannie Rosen was 21 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Russia, she’d lived in the US for 6 months and had changed her name from Faiga Resnik. She had worked in the Triangle factory for only 2 days and was buried in Evergreens Cemetery.
  • Sarafina Saracino was 25 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Italy, she’d lived in the US for 2 years and was buried in Calvary Cemetery.
  • Teresina Saracino was 20 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Italy, she’d lived in the US for 2 years and was buried in Calvary Cemetery.
  • Violet Schrochet was 21 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Austria, she’d lived in the US for 9 years and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
  • Clotilde Terranova was 22 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Italy, she’d lived in the US for 3 years and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.
  • Sarah Weintraub was 17 years old at the time of the fire. Born in Austria, she’d lived in the US for 5 months and was a union member. She was buried in Mount Richmond Cemetery.
  • Sweeping Investigations to Fix Blame for Fire. The March 27, 1911 Evening Telegram explains how Fannie Lansner saved the lives of other girls before jumping to her death; 15 photos of the victims; girls risked their own lives to save others; survivor states that the doors were locked; $7000 in relief fund for victims of the fire; responsibility for holocaust put up to city.
  • Pasqualina Russo, survivor. She was nearly 19 at the time of the fire, which she survived by going to the roof and crossing over to an adjoining building. Her hair was burned in the fire. She went on to have 5 children, 13 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. She died in August, 1979 at age 87.
  • Pasqualina Russo, survivor, sitting in a Chair. She was nearly 19 at the time of the fire, which she survived by going to the roof and crossing over to an adjoining building. Her hair was burned in the fire. She went on to have 5 children, 13 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. She died in August, 1979 at age 87.
Sweatshop conditions in the early 1900's

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