Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition

Triangle Fire Open Archive

Cultural Response

Working Women’s History Project, Centennial Event

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Contributed by : Jacqueline Kirley

Object # 2209

April 7, 2011

“The Ninth Floor Door: Blocked Justice of the Triangle Fire” by Mary Bonnett used historical texts and original documents to dramatize the trial of factory owners charged with locking a ninth-floor door. During the trial three different women described their experience of being in the fire, of watching—horrified—as bodies plummeted from on high and their heartbreak of identifying dead relatives. The announcer/guitarist read names and ages of the dead and played period songs as power-point slides offered background facts. Applause was somber and eyes moist at play’s end.

Commentary

On April 7th, the Working Women’s History Project, with co-sponsors, commemorated the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire with an original play about the fire and a panel about conditions today. Panelists described sweatshops spreading into the global economy, complete with locked doors and factory fires, OSHA safety regulations, and activities to reassert worker rights in an environment unsympathetic to labor.
- Working Women’s History Project