Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition

Triangle Fire Open Archive


My grandmother, Jennie Landa

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Contributed by : Richard C. Simon

Object # 677

This is a photo of Louis and Jennie Landa. Jennie Landa was my Grandmother, who was employed by the Triangle Shirtwaist factory and was absent from work due to an illness on the day of the fire. Had she been at work and perished that day, I would not be here since my mother was born in March of 1912.

Courtesy of : Richard C. Simon (All rights reserved)

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This is a beautiful image of Richard C. Simon’s grandparents and particularly poignant that his grandmother worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory but missed work the day of the fire due to illness. Although we social historians are big on human agency – the fact that people – big and small – make a difference in the past and present, it is also true that much of history is out of our control and is just fate. Thank goodness Jennie Landa missed work that day! I remember so many similar comments on 9/11 from friends and colleagues – people who were not at the World Trade Center but should have been. And the fact that Mr. Simon’s mother was born in March of 1912 reminds us of another upcoming centennial memorial – the sinking of the Titanic which took place on April 10, 1912.

Suzanne Wasserman, Ph.D.
Gotham Center for New York City History/CUNY