Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Victims

In researching garment worker conditions  in 1911 for my next novel, I came upon a list of the victims of the March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City and can’t get it out of my head. Read the litany of the 146 dead slowly, picturing the names and young ages of these workers. Some have notes:  tiny windows to the particularities of their tragedies.

Just the facts: Managers had locked the doors to prevent pilfering and authorized exits, a common practice at the time. When fire broke out, the trapped workers, mostly children and young women,  leaped from the 8th, 9th, and 10th floor windows. Most  died. It is the fourth largest industrial tragedy of this country, and the second largest in NYC until 2001. It is good to remember the labors of unions, particularly the ILGWU, OSHA and groups like Jobs with Justice that work so hard for worker safety. The list is from the University of Missouri, Kansas City pages on the tragedy. The images of the last four identified victims (not in the list below) are from the New York Times, “100 Years Later, the Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire is Complete,” February 20, 2011.

Aberstein, Julia, 30
Adler, Lizzie, 24
Altman, Anna, 16
Ardito, Anna, 25
Astrowsky, Becky, 20
Bassino, Rosie, 31
Belatta, Vincenza, 16
Bellotta, Ignazia, Father identified by heel of shoe.
Benanti, Vincenza, 22
Bernstein, Essie, 19
Bernstein, Jacob, 28
Bernstein, Morris, 19
Bernstein, Moses
Bierman, Gussie, 22, Parents complained body stripped of rings.
Binevitz, Abraham, 20
Brenman, Rosie
Brenman, Surka (Sarah)
Brodsky, Ida, 16
Brodsky, Sarah, 21
Brooks, Ida, 18
Brunette, Laura, 17
Caputta, 17
Carlisi, Josep, 31
Caruso, Albina, 20
Carutto, Frances, 17
Castello, Josie, 21
Cirrito, Rosie
Cohen, Anna, 25
Colletti, Antonia (Annie). 30
Costello, Della
Crepo, Rose. 19
Denent, Grances, 20
Dichtenhultz (Fichtenhultz), Yetta, 18
Dockman (Dochman), Dora (Clara), 19
Dorman, K, Identified by registered letter.
Downic, Kalman, 24
Eisenberg, Celia, 17
Feibush, Rose
Feicisch (Feibish), Rebecca, 17, Died at hospital after jumping.
Feltzer, 40
Fitze, Mrs. Dosie Lopez, 24, Survived jump for day, then died.
Forrester, May, 25
Franco, Jennie, 16
Frank, Tina, 17
Gallo, Mrs. Mary, 23
Geib, Bertha, 25
Gernstein, Molly, 17
Gittlin, Celina, 17
Goldfield, Esther
Goldstein, Esther
Goldstein, Lena, 22
Goldstein, Mary, 11
Goldstein, Yetta, 20
Gorfield, Esther, 22
Grameattassio, Mrs. Irene, 24
Harris, Esther, 21, Broke back coming down elevator chute.
Herman, Mary, 40
Jakobowski, Ida
Kaplan (woman), 20
Kenowitch, Ida, 18
Keober, 30
Kessler, Becky, Tag read, “B Kessler, call for her tomorrow.”
Klein, Jacob, 23
Kupla, Sara, Jumped.  Survived five days after fire.
Launswold, Fannie, 24
Lefkowitz, Nettie, 28
Lehrer, Max, 19
Lehrer, Sam
Leone, Kate, 14
Lermack, Rosie D., 19
Leventhal, Mary, 22, Identified by gold-capped tooth.
Levin, Jennie, 19, Attractive woman who died with folded arms
Levine, Abe
Levine, Max
Levine, Pauline, 19
Maltese, Catherine, Mother of two victims below.
Maltese, Lucia, 20, One of three bodies identified by her brother.
Maltese, Rosalie(Rosari), 14
Manara, Mrs. Maria, 27
Manofsky, Rose, 22, Died at Bellevue Hospital.
Marciano, Mrs. Michela, 25
Mayer, Minnie
Meyers, Yetta, 19
Miale, Bettina,18, Identified by ring on her finger.
Miale, Frances, 21
Midolo, Gaetana, 16
Nebrerer, Becky, 19
Nicholas, Annie, 18
Nicolose, Nicolina  (Michelina)
Novobritsky, Annie, 20
Nussbaum (Nausbaum),  Sadie, 18, Lower half of body consumed by flame.
Oberstein, Julia, 19
Oringer, Rose, Died at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Ozzo, Carrie, 22
Pack, Annie, 18
Panno, Mrs. Providenza, 48
Pasqualicca, Antonietta, 16
Pearl, Ida, 20
Pildescu, Jennie, 18
Pinello, Vincenza, 30
Poliny, Jennie, 20
Prato, Millie, 21
Reivers, Becky, 19
Rootstein, Emma
Robinowitz, Abraham
Rosen, Israel, 17, Sister identified body by ring.
Rosen, Julia (widow), 35, $842 found in her stocking.
Rosen, Mrs. Leob,, 38
Rosenbaum, Yetta, 22
Rosenberg, Jennie, 21
Rosenfeld, Gussie, 22
Rosenthal, Nettie, 21
Rother, R., 25
Rother, Theodore, 22
Sabasowitz, Sarah, 17
Salemi, Sophie, 24, Identified by a darn in her stocking.
Saracino, Sara
Saracino, Serafina, 25
Saracino, Tessie, 20
Schiffman, Gussie, 18
Schmidt, Mrs. Theresa, 32
Schneider, Mrs. Ethel
Schochep, Violet, 21
Schwartz, Margaret, Named victim in criminal case.
Selzer, Jacob, 33
Semmilio, Mrs. Annie, 30
Shapiro, Rosie, 17
Shena, Catherine, 30
Sklaver, Berel (Sklawer,  Bennie), 25
Sorkin, Rosie, 18
Spunt, Gussie, 19
Starr, Mrs. Annie, 30
Stein, Jennie, 18
Stellino, Jennie, 16
Stiglitz, Jennie, 22
Tabick, Samuel, 18
Terdanova (Terranova),  Clotilde, 22, Only victim to die on tenth floor; jumped.
Tortorella, Isabella, 17
Ullo, Mary, 20
Utal, Meyer, 23
Velakowsky,  Freda(Freida), 20, Survived jump for 3 days, then died.
Vivlania, Bessie, 15
Vovobritsky, Annie, 20
Weinduff, Sally, 17
Weiner, Rose, 23
Weintraub, Sally (Sarah?), 17
Weintraub, Celia
Welfowitz, Dora, 21
Wilson, Joseph, 21, Found by fiance; to have been wed in June.
Wisner, Tessie, 27
Wisotsky, Sonia, 17
Wondross, Bertha
Zeltner, 30, Died of internal injuries at St. Vincent’s.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

Posted in WWWS

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Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference, April 5-7, 2018. Two workshops: “Ancient fires for modern words” and “Blending narrative & description to empower your prose.”

When We Were Strangers, in Italian translation, presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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