Transcripts of Criminal Trial Against Triangle Owners

Permanent URI for this collection

The full-text of the transcripts of the 1911 criminal trial against the owners of the Triangle Waist factory in New York City is part of a larger Web site, which should be visited to obtain full background information on the fire that caused the owners to be prosecuted and on the trial itself. Please visit Triangle Factory Fire.

For the story of the discovery of the transcripts, please see: Discovery of the Transcripts

For an introduction to the trial, see Introduction

For a list of witnesses, see List of Witnesses

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Item
    Complete Transcript of Triangle Fire
    (1911-11-01)
    This is a complete copy of the Triangle Fire Transcript. For ease of viewing and downloading, we have also divided the transcript into volumes and sections. Please note: Full transcript is unavailable for pages 674-1210, but is contained substantially in Vol. 2.
  • Item
    Vol. 1, sec. 1 (pp. 1 -80) Nov. 20 – Dec. 6, 1911. Opening statement by Mr. Bostwick for the People (prosecution), outlining theory of the case. Witness James Wiskeman, civil engineer, gives long description of physical layout of the factory building
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 1, section 1 (pp. 1-80) People’s Witnesses Day 1: November 20, 1911; after brief discussion of rules, adjourned to December 4. Witness called: ANTON J. GERICK, a talesman December 4, 5, 6: examination of talesman, empaneling of jury (no details), motion for dismissal of each count; motion denied; opening of case by People, asst to D.A. Mr. Bostwick (p. 4), describing physical layout of building, events he plans to prove. Witnesses called: CHARLES B. MILLER, representative of owner of the building (People’s witness, p. 16) DANIEL G. TERRY, custodian in clerk’s office (People’s witness) JAMES P. WHISKEMAN, civil engineer (People’s witness, p. 23); long description of physical layout as represented by diagram, especially stairways and doors OTTO H. SCHULTZE, coroner’s physician, (People’s witness, p. 65) performed autopsy on Margaret Schwartz, confirms cause of death asphyxiation HAROLD L. COE, photographer (People’s witness, p. 66) GEORGE FIST, photographer (People’s witness, p. 73); discussion of lighting conditions in factory building, accuracy of layout on diagram
  • Item
    Vol. 1, sec. 2 (pp. 81-151) Testimony by firefighters and police officers as to what they saw and did on the day of the fire. Adjourned to Dec. 7
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 1, sec. 2 (pp. 81-151) Firefighters and police: DANIEL C. DONOHUE, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 80), testifies as to when alarm came in EDWARD G. WORTH, firefighter, battalion chief (People’s witness, p. 84), testifies about what he saw at the scene Adjourned to December 7, 1911 Trial resumes, December 7, 1911 Witness Worth continues (cross-examination by defendants’ attorney Mr. Steuer) Witness George Fist recalled OLIVER MAHONEY, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 106), describes his actions at scene of fire HOWARD C. RUCH, fire Captain (People’s witness, p. 116), describes finding bodies and debris at scene, behavior of fire JOHN BOYLE, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 147), describes his actions
  • Item
    Vol. 1, sec. 3 (pp. 151-228) Testimony by firefighters and police continued
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 1, sec. 3 (151-228 JACOB WOLL, JR., firefighter (People’s witness), describes actions at scene FELIX REINHART, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 160), describes fire, location of bodies, actions of self and others FREDERICK A. CUNNINGHAM (People’s witness, p. 170), testifies to accuracy of photograph he took JACOB WOLL recalled by the People (p. 174), testifies to number of bodies, what was done with them, and who else was there; physical condition of structures; questioned about previous testimony CHARLES M. LAUTH, assistant foreman firefighter (People’s witness, p. 186), testifies about actions of others FLOYD N. MANCE, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 186), testifies about who else was there, location of bodies MARTIN A. O’CONNOR, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 202), testifies about who else was there, location of bodies JOHN E. STAFFORD, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 206), testifies about who else was there, location of bodies ANDREW OTT, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 210), testifies about who else was there, location of bodies CHARLES E. KUHN, firefighter (People’s witness, p. 214), testifies about who else was there, location of bodies ALLAN LANDRY, chief inspector’s office (People’s witness, p. 218), and following police officers testify bodies were brought to morgue CHARLES KENSELER, police officer (People’s witness, p. 219) DOMINIC HENRY, police captain (People’s witness, p. 221) CORNELIUS G. HAYES, police inspector (People’s witness, p. 221) WILLIAM HOGAN, police captain (People’s witness, p. 222) JOHN W. O’CONNOR, police captain (People’s witness, p. 223) JAMES P. WHISKEMAN recalled (p. 225), testifies to accuracy of photograph
  • Item
    Vol. 1, sec. 4 (pp. 229-360). Testimony by factory workers. Adjourned to Dec. 11
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 1, sec. 4 (pp. 229-360) CARMELLA INGEGENO, employed as machine operator (sewer) by Harris & Blanck (People’s witness, p. 229), describes physical layout of her working space and what happened on the day of the fire WILLIAM BERNSTEIN, employee (People’s witness, p. 237), describes physical layout of working space and what happened on the day of the fire LOUIS LEVY, paper-maker’s supplier/rag buyer (People’s witness, p. 246), testifies as to when rags were last removed from factory, and quantity Adjourned to December 8, 1911 Resumed December 8, 1911 Louis Levy continues with testimony HARRY FINGERHERTH, employee of Levy (People’s witness, p. 276) HARRY GOLDBERG, employee of Levy (People’s witness, p. 277) SAM ANDELMAN, employee of Levy (People’s witness, p. 279) SAM RAPPAPORT, employee of Levy (People’s witness, p. 281) SAMUEL FEIBES, employed as cutter by Harris & Blanck (People’s witness, p. 281), assisted by Yiddish interpreter, discusses who was working on day of fire ISIDORE ABRAMOWITZ, employed by Harris & Blanck (People’s witness, p. 286), discusses physical layout of plant, actions of others on day of fire SAM BERNSTEIN, employed as an operator (sewer) by Harris & Blanck (People’s witness, p. 300), assisted by Yiddish interpreter, describes where he was working on day of the fire and how he tried to open the door after fire started; actions of others; notes relationship to owners, membership in union; involvement in lawsuit MARY BUCELLI/Cisco, employed by Harris & Blanck (People’s witness, p. 324), assisted by interpreter, describes customary exit going home; how she tried to open the door after fire started; actions of others; involvement in lawsuit JOSEPH BRENMAN, employed by Harris & Blanck (People’s witness, p. 346), assisted by Yiddish interpreter, describes how he tried to open the door after fire started; describes looking for sisters, who also worked that day; Adjourned to December 11, 1911
  • Item
    Vol. 1, sec. 5 (pp. 361-536). Testimony by female workers
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 1, sec. 5 (pp. 361-536) Resumed December 11, 1911. Testimony by female workers: ANNA GULLO, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 361), describes how she tried to open the door after fire started; notes others were trying the door, too; asked about lawsuit IDA NELSON, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 391) assisted by interpreter, describes how she tried to open the door after fire started; notes involvement in lawsuit; asked about customary way of going home at night; how she escaped on the day of the fire YETTA LUBITZ, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 409), describes where she worked relative to others, what happened on the day of the fire, including statement by worker “The door is locked”; long argument by Steuer, then Bostwick, about admissibility of statement; witness continues describing escape; examined about routine for leaving at night; seeing worker try to open door; others she saw; discussion of perception of time elapsed ESTHER CUSHNER, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 475), testifies she was told by Ida Jacofsky, who tried it on the day of the fire, that the door was locked ETHEL MONICK, employed as “floor girl,” giving trim to operators (People’s witness, p. 483), testifies she could not open door on the day of the fire, and also heard someone call out that door was locked; physical location of partition, fire-escape, tables, other objects; describes escape, what she saw of others; routine whereabouts of Harris BECKIE ROTHSTEIN, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 532) assisted by interpreter, testified that she saw someone try to open the door
  • Item
    Vol. 1, sec. 6 (pp. 537-673). Continues with female workers’ testimony, Dec. 11-12, 1911. Adjourned to December 13
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 1, sec. 6 (pp. 537-673) Resumed December 12th, 1911. Testimony by female workers continues: BECKIE ROTHSTEIN continues, describing actions of self and Sam Bernstein, who tried to open the door ROSE MAYERS, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 549), testifies she tried to open door and others tried to help open it; prior conversations about the door with others SOPHIE ZIMMERMAN, machine operator (People’s witness, p. 564), assisted by interpreter, testified that she saw others try to open the door, unsuccessfully; notes she never saw the door open KATIE WEINER, employed as lace cutter (People’s witness, p. 576), testifies she tried to open door; asked about prior testimony at Coroner’s inquest; asked about who else she saw, injuries sustained at elevator CELIA WALKER, employed as examiner (People’s witness, p. 599), describes physical layout of work space on ninth floor; testifies she tried to open door; jumping over machines, jumping into elevator shaft, holding on to cable, going unconscious; questioned about orientation of flames and smoke; construction of door LILLIAN WEINER, employed as examiner (People’s witness, p. 635), describes physical layout of work space on ninth floor; testifies she tried to open door, and others before her tried and found it locked; testifies they were never allowed to open a window DORA AXLEROD, employed as a waist maker (People’s witness, p. 656), assisted by interpreter BECKIE BURSKY, operator (People’s witness, p. 658), assisted by interpreter, discusses actions on day of fire, use of fire escape ROSE GLANTZ, operator (People’s witness, p. 664), discusses actions on day of fire, customary work routine, use of elevators Adjourned to December 13, 1911
  • Item
    Vol. 2 (pp. 677-1996). “Library notes” by researcher: summaries and long excerpts of testimony by workers about Margaret Schwartz’s death in the fire; engineers, laborers, and hardware dealer about condition of door casing, handrail, lock; and co-defendant/owner Max Blanck about his actions on day of fire
    (1911-11-20)
    Vol. 2 (pp. 677-1996) “Library Notes,” picks up at page 677, continues to p. 1996 (61-page document), includes excerpts from transcript, more testimony from workers about the fire, what happened to Margaret Schwartz; testimony by engineer as to condition of door casing, handrail, staircases; testimony by engineer and hardware dealer about lock, laborers who found the lock; testimony of owner Max Blanck as to his actions on day of fire
  • Item
    Vol. 3, sec. 1 (pp. 1211-1290). Trial resumed December 19, 1911. Defendants’ witnesses: Commissioner of Labor describes inspection procedure for Triangle factory; testimony of building superintendent about testing hose, lighting conditions; testimony of supplier re physical layout of factory
    (1911-12-11)
    Vol. 3, sec. 1 (pp. 1211-1290) Defendants’ Witnesses Trial resumed December 19, 1911 JOHN WILLIAMS, Commissioner of Labor (defendants’ witness), discusses building inspections, long discussion of report of inspection of Triangle Waist factory ISAAC STERN, steam contractor and building superintendent of Asch (Triangle) building (defendants’ witness, p. 1246), testifies about testing hose, lighting in stairways, questioned extensively about previous testimony at Coroner’s inquest MAX HERSCH, manager of embroidery department of M. H. Pulanski & Co., (defendants’ witness, p. 1272), sold goods to Harris & Blanck, visited premises, testified as to routine whereabouts of Harris, physical layout of premises, lighting
  • Item
    Vol. 3, sec. 2 (pp. 1291-1407). Testimony of porters and sewing machine operators re string on lock in door; extensive arguing between attorneys, December 19-20
    (1911-12-19)
    Vol. 3, sec. 2 (pp. 1291-1407) MAY CALIANDRO LEVANTINI, machine operator (defendants’ witness, p. 1291); describes actions the day of the fire; describes flames; questioned about lawsuit against Harris & Blanck; questioned about appearance of string on key in door; describes turning key and passing through door; questioned about previous testimony Long argument between attorneys about access to written testimony THOMAS HORTON, porter (defendants’ witness, p. 1325); questioned about previous testimony re lock and door; extensive arguing between attorneys and judge re admissibility of statements REGINALD J. WILLIAMSON, porter, now working for another firm (defendants’ witness, p. 1350); testifies that he took lunch orders from sewing machine operators; describes string on key tied to door-knob, which he himself tied on; testifies about workers dancing to phonograph brought in during strike; about physical layout IDA MITTLEMAN, machine operator (defendants’ witness, p. 1371), testifies about where she and her sister sat Adjourned; resumed December 20, 1911 IDA MITTLEMAN continues, describes actions the day of the fire, actions of others; still an employee of Harris & Blanck; describes key hanging by string from door-knob; questioned about previous testimony about trying to open the door; long argument between attorneys about access to written testimony