The victims of the fire were mostly women immigrants working under ridiculously strenuous conditions, and more often than not, the sole providers for their families in the old country and here in their new homeland.
Recently, historian and amateur genealogist, Michael Hirsch, tracked down the names of six previously unknown victims through historical and genealogical research. Hirsch also produced the HBO documentary "Triangle: Remembering the Fire."
There were many contributing factors to the fire, most of which could have been prevented. The tragedy sparked massive reforms in both labor and safety laws at the time. The Triangle fire is an interesting insight into factory conditions at the turn of the century, not just of the clothing industry, but industry in general.
Below are some resources to learn more about this pivotal moment in labor and workplace safety history:
100 Years Later, the Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire is Complete, New York Times
Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, a website presented by the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives at Cornell University
Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Memorial
Uncovering the History of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Smithsonian Magazine, by David Von Drehle author of "Triangle: The Fire That Changed America."
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Trial, detailed site explaining the trial that followed the fire
Triangle Fire, American Experience documentary on PBS
|A pattern for shirtwaist embroidery from the Iowa State Register and Farmer, 1909|