This morning I happened across an article published in an August 2006 online edition of Smithsonian magazine. The article was by David von Drehle, the author of Triangle, The Fire That Changed America. In the article, he tells of his search for records to document just what happened in what is known as the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911. The garment factory fire took place near Washington Square in New York City, and was for many years the worst workplace disaster in the city. One hundred forty-six workers were trapped and killed within 18 minutes in the fast-moving fire.
I found that although many records are missing, there is a wealth of information on the Internet about the fire, and those hapless individuals who lost their lives.
The Cornell University site has a terrific section titled Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. The website includes original sources about the fire which are held at the ILR School’s Kheel Center, an archive of historical material on labor and industrial relations.
Following are links to the Cornell site: