On March 25, 1911, a fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, claiming the lives of 146 workers. Most of the victims were young immigrant women from Eastern and Southern Europe. In the wake of the fire, a group of women labor activists fought to ensure that the tragedy led to concrete change.
In this episode, host Laura Free speaks with Dr. Annelise Orleck, author of Common Sense and a Little Fire, to learn about the women who agitated for better working conditions before and after the Triangle Fire. Rose Schneiderman, Pauline Newman, and Clara Lemlich had a shared vision for a more equitable society. Together, they organized unions, led strikes, and fought for labor legislation, combating sexist and classist attitudes every step of the way. To exercise their full political power, they needed to make an impact not just on the picket lines but also at the ballot box. They needed the right to vote.
For a transcript and more about this series, visit amendedpodcast.com. Visit the Amended store to get an Amended podcast mug, shirt, bag, phone case, and more.
Laura Free, Host & Writer
Reva Goldberg, Producer, Editor & Co-Writer
Scarlett Rebman, Project Director & Episode 4 Co-Writer
Episode 4 Guest and Collaborator: Dr. Annelise Orleck
Consulting Engineer: Logan Romjue
Art by Simonair Yoho
Music by Michael-John Hancock, Live Footage, Emily Sprague, Pictures of the Floating World (CC), Yusuke Tsutsumi (CC) and Meydän (CC).
Archival footage courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives, WNYC, and the Kheel Center at Cornell University.
Special thanks to Janette Gayle, Susan Goodier, and Karen Pastorello whose scholarship helped frame the episode, and also to Davor Mondom, who consulted on this episode.
Amended is produced with major funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and with support from Baird Foundation, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Phil Lewis & Catherine Porter, and C. Evan Stewart. We received special support for this episode from Susan Strauss and Karen Gantz.
Copyright Humanities New York 2020