100 Years

[Trigger warning: The links contain graphic descriptions and photographs]

In case you were unaware, today marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. One hundred forty-six people, mostly young immigrant women, perished in the fire. Unsafe working conditions were the primary factors responsible for both the fire and the loss of life. (On NPR this afternoon, a historian commented that managers locked one of two exit doors towards the end of shifts, in order to make it easier to search the women for stolen material when they left the sweatshop to return to the tenements).

Cornell's Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives hosts the world's most comprehensive collection of resources related to the tragedy.

As an aside, I was on the Lower East Side of New York (city and state) last weekend. I just happened across the building in question. That building, along with most of the buildings in that part of Manhattan, was absolutely gorgeous. I'm sure the realities of early 20th century America sullied that beautiful picture, to say the least. However, my point is that it's best to remember that oppression isn't just something that happens in isolated places-- it's also a fixture in places that make a great setting for $5 lattes [ETA: Also, amazing bagels and lox NOM NOM NOM.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus