Podcast – Episode Two, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: An Emigrant’s Experience

Fire trucks rush to the scene at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Washington Place, March 25, 1911.

They called them the Shirtwaist Kings. Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, one of the largest ready-made clothing manufacturing firms in the United States and a principal provider of ladies’ button-up blouses, the go-to garment for the New Woman.

To the workers employed in their factories in Syracuse, Yonkers, Boston, Philadelphia and Manhattan, Blanck and Harris were more than kings. They were as good as gods, wielding the power of life and death over hundreds of employees, mostly immigrant women and girls like Annie Doherty from Ireland and Celia Walker from Poland, the subjects of my new three-part podcast series on the fire, a collaboration with Fin Dwyer, Irish historian, author and creator of the acclaimed Irish History Podcast.

Episode One follows Annie’s and Celia’s harrowing transatlantic journeys to New York where both women would make their home, Annie in the notorious West side neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, Celia in the predominantly Eastern European Lower East Side.

Episode Two, which launched 1/18/21, follows Annie and Celia from the citywide garment workers strike of 1909 to that fatal Saturday, March 25, 1911 when the fire broke out on the factory’s eighth floor. Within 30-minutes, 146 workers would be dead, another 78 injured, victims of what would be the deadliest industrial disaster in New York State until the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Episode Three, which looks at the legacy of the fire in the lives of survivors and in the larger landscape of labor reform, will post Monday, January 25.

Have a listen and then share your thoughts on Twitter where I post as @HopeTarr #HistoryMatters.

For Sharing on Social:

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: An Emigrant’s Experience (Episode 2)
https://tinyurl.com/yxhn6a66
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Podcast – The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: An Emigrant’s Experience

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: An Emigrant’s Experience,” a three-part podcast with Irish historian, author and podcaster Fin Dwyer. I first met Fin in 2018 at an event at the American Irish Historical Society in Manhattan where he was the guest speaker, thought he was brilliant and approached him afterward about how we might collaborate to put together a podcast program for the fire’s 110th anniversary on March 25, 2021. Nearly three years later, and more than 3,000 miles and five hours apart — Fin in Kilkenny and me in NYC — here we are!

The fire at the Triangle factory, housed in the Asch Building (today the Brown Building, part of New York University) took the lives of 146 workers, most of them immigrant women and girls, and injured 78 others, making it the deadliest workplace disaster in New York State until the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Each approximately 30-minute podcast episode looks at a different aspect of the fire as seen through the eyes of two immigrant factory workers who lived it: Annie Doherty, an Irish Catholic from Finn Valley in Ireland’s County Donegal and Celia Walker, an Eastern European Jew from Przemysl in southwestern Poland, in the late 19th century part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Listen to Episode One here, which follows Annie’s and Celia’s harrowing transatlantic journeys to turn-of-the-century New York where both women would make their home, Annie in the notorious West side neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, Celia in the predominantly Eastern European Lower East Side.

Episode Two: Fire and Episode Three: Legacy will post Monday, January 18 and Monday, January 25, respectively. Have a listen and then share your thoughts on Twitter where I post as @HopeTarr #HistoryMatters.

For Sharing on Social:

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: An Emigrant’s Experience
https://tinyurl.com/y38ntjuk
#HistoryMatters #podcast

Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my newsletter here.