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Friday, March 25, 2011

They had names.
Posted by Jill | 7:46 PM
If you want to know why unions, however flawed they may be, are important...if you still believe that corporations and the wealthy will, left to their own devices, act in the public good, I give you the names of one hundred and forty-six people who died one hundred years ago today at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co.:

Julia Aberstein, age 30
Lizzie Adler, age 24
Anna Altman, age 16
Anna Ardito, age 25
Becky Astrowsky, age 20
Rosie Bassino, age 31
Vincenza Belatta, age 16
Ignazia Bellotta, age unknown
Vincenza Benanti, age 22
Essie Bernstein, age 19
Jacob Bernstein, age 28
Morris Bernstein, age 19
Moses Bernstein, age unknown
Gussie Bierman, age 22
Abraham Binevitz, age 20
Rosie Brenman, age unknown
Surkah (Sarah) Brenman, age unknown
Ida Brodsky, age 16
Sarah Brodsky, age 21
Ida Brooks, age 18
Laura Brunette, age 17
Caputta, age 17
Josep Carlisi, age 31
Albina Caruso, age 20
Frances Carutto, age 17
Josie Castello, age 21
Rosie Ciritto, age unknown
Anna Cohen, age 25
Antonia Colletti, age 30
Della Costello, age unknown
Rose Crepo, age 19
Grances (Frances?) Denent, age 20
Yetta Fichtenhultz, age 18
Clara Dochman, age 19
K. Dorman, age unknown
Kalman Downic, age 24
Celia Eisenberg, age 17
Rose Feibush, age unknown
Rebecca Feibish, age 17
[?] Feltzer, age 40
Dosie Lopez Fitze, age 24
May Forrester, age 25
Jennie Franco, age 16
Tina Frank, age 17
Mary Gallo, age 23
Bertha Geib, age 25
Molly Gernstein, age 17
Celina Gittlin, age 17
Esther Goldfield, age unknown
Esther Goldstein, age unknown
Lena Goldstein, age 22
Mary Goldstein, age 11
Yetta Goldstein, age 20
Esther Gorfield, age 22
Irene Grameattassio, age 20
Esther Harris, age 21
Mary Herman, age 40
Ida Jakobowski, age unknown
[?] Kaplan, age 20
Ida Kenowitch, age 18
[?] Keober, age 30
Becky Kessler, age unknown
Jacob Klein, age 23
Sara Kupla, age unknown
Fannie Launswold, age 24
Nettie Lefkowitz, age 28
Max Lehrer, age 19
Sam Lehrer, age unknown
Kate Leone, age 14<
Rosie D. Lermack, age 19
Mary Leventhal, age 22
Jennie Levin, age 19
Abe Levine, age unknown
Max Levine, age unknown
Pauline Levine, age 19
Catherine Maltese, age unknown
Lucia Maltese, age 20
Rosalie Maltese, age 14
Maria Manara, age 27
Rose Manofsky, age 22
Michela Marciano, age 25
Minnie Mayer, age unknown
Yetta Meyers, age 19
Bettina Miale, age 21
Gaetana Midolo, age 16
Becky Nebrerer, age 19
Annie Nicholas, age 18
Michelina Nicolose, age unknown
Annie Novobritsky, age 20
Sadie Nussbaum, age 18
Julia Oberstein, age 19
Rose Oringer, age unknown
Carrie Ozzo, age 22
Annie Pack, age 18
Providenza Panno, age 48
Antonietta Pasqualicca, age 16
Ida Pearl, age 20
Jennie Pildescu, age 18
Vincenza Pinello, age 30
Jennie Poliny, age 20
Millie Prato, age 21
Becky Reivers, age unknown
Emma Rootstein, age unknown
Abraham Robinowitz, age unknown
Israel Rosen, age 17
Julia Rosen, age 35
Mrs. Leob Rosen, age 38
Yetta Rosenbaum, age 22
Jennie Rosenberg, age 21
Gussie Rosenfeld, age 22
Nettie Rosenthal, age 21
R. Rother, age 25
Theodore Rother, age 22
Sarah Sabasowitz, age 17
Sophie Salemi, age 24
Sara Saracino, age unknown
Serafina Saracino, age 25
Tessie Saracino, age 20
Gussie Schiffman, age 16
Theresa Schmidt, age 32
Ethel Schneider, age unknown
Violet Schochep, age 21
Margaret Schwartz, age unknown
Jacob Selzer, age 33
Annie Semmilio, age 30
Rosie Shapiro, age 17
Catherine Shena, age 30
Bennie Sklawer, age 25
Rosie Sorkin, age 18
[?] Spear, age unknown
[?] Sprunt, age unknown
Gussie Spunt, age 19
Annie Starr, age 30
Jennie Stein, age 18
Jennie Stellino, age 16
Jennie Stiglitz, age 33
Samuel Tabick, age 18
Clotilde Terranova, age 22
Isabella Tortorella, age 17
Mary Ullo, age 20
Meyer Utal, age 23
Freida Velakowsky, age 20
Bessie Vivlania, age 15
Annie Vovobritsky, age 20
Sally Weinduff, age 17
Rose Weiner, age 23
Sally Weintraub, age 17
Celia Weintraub, age unknown
Dora Welfowitz, age 21
Joseph Wilson, age 21
Tessie Wisner, age 27
Sonia Wisotsky, age 17
Bertha Wondross, age unknown
[?] Zeltner, age 30

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Blogger Ramonas Voices said...
This makes it real, doesn't it? The youngest was only 14 years old. I wonder how long it will be before we're back to this again. That "Vast Right Wing conspiracy" is out in the open and they don't care who knows what they're doing.
They think they can get away with it, and unless we all fight them as if our lives depend on it, they will.

Blogger Ramonas Voices said...
Oh my God, no. The youngest was eleven! Now there is a governor who wants to abandon child labor laws. This HAS to stop.

Blogger Jill said...
Ramona, at first I thought it was a cop-out to just list the names, rather than write something. But then, as I started typing (and I did not copy-and-paste, but typed each one), I started to see faces -- faces that went with these names. There's something about these names -- names like Gussie and Nettie and Yetta that we don't see anymore but that many of us had in our families. I was named after a "Jennie", which I thought was an oddly anachronistic contemporary name, until I saw how many Jennies were on this list. As I typed, all of these people became palpably real to me and I saw their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. I saw the photographs of their lives.

When I started writing fiction that took place in earlier times and reached my mind out for inspiration and characters, it felt as if unincarnated souls were coming into my head and demanding that their stories be told. Perhaps they weren't unincarnated souls at all, but real people -- people long forgotten, people like these, with a story to tell.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
The last 6 victims weren't identified until February last year.

Blogger Ramonas Voices said...
Jill, the list is startlingly effective. Remember when everyone thought the black "monstrosity", the Vietnam Wall in DC, would be a failure? Each name on that wall became a person and each person grew wings until the reality of that war and the losses it incurred couldn't be ignored. Everyone who goes there is moved by what is, in fact, nothing more than a black granite monolith.

We don't always find the stories; the stories often find us. Thanks again for this. So powerful.

BTW, how is it that the last ten were only recently identified? That's a story in itself.

Blogger Ramonas Voices said...
Sorry, I meant the last six victims. How were they identified?

Anonymous Tata said...
Jill, nothing and no one is perfect. No institution is perfect. No one expects perfection in public life. So please: there's no reason to mention the imperfection of unions. You're conceding an inch to people who will take a mile.