The Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in 1911 was a horrific tragedy that cost 146 people, mostly teenage women, their lives. It is also a watershed moment in American labour relations, as well as for the enacting of building construction and maintenance codes and labour laws. When I first saw imagery of this two years ago, it affected me in the same way as 11 September.
While I have a host of stories in the queue such that I have no wish to tackle another project until those clear, once I finish those stories I do plan to create a novel based on two people who worked at Triangle. I’d like to explore their lives, their personal connection – don’t be surprised if I find a way to have these women be surreptitiously interested in one another – up until the point of their decision to make a leap from the flames.
For more information, on Blogher, Alexash wrote Daphne Pinkerson, Director of HBO’s “Triangle: Remembering The Fire” while Suzanne Reisman wrote Worker’s Rights: 100 Years After the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire both giving an excellent recap of the tragedy, while Cornell University has set up this site:The Triangle Factory Fire.