Friday, March 25, 2011

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 Years Ago Today

The Gothic Tea Society

100 Years ago today there was a terrible tragedy. A fire killed 146 workers, mostly female immigrants.
For a modern article on the 100 year remembrance go HERE

Wiki says: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who either died from the fire or jumped to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent immigrant Jewish and Italian women aged sixteen to twenty-three.  Many of the workers could not escape the burning building because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits. People jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers. 

The factory was located in the Asch Building, at 29 Washington Place, now known as the Brown Building, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.

The Triangle Waist Company factory occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the Asch Building on the northwest corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, just to the east of Washington Square Park, in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. Under the ownership of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the factory produced women's blouses, known as "shirtwaists." The factory normally employed about 500 workers, mostly young immigrant women, who worked nine hours a day on weekdays plus seven hours on Saturdays. As the workday was ending on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire flared up at approximately 4:45 PM in a scrap bin under one of the cutter's tables at the northeast corner of the eighth floor.

A large crowd of bystanders gathered on the street, witnessing sixty-two people jumping or falling to their deaths from the burning building. Louis Waldman, later a New York Socialist state assemblyman, described the scene years later:

One Saturday afternoon in March of that year — March 25, to be precise — I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library... It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire. 

A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames. 

Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle Waist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies. 

The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines. 

The remainder waited until smoke and fire overcame them. The fire department arrived quickly but was unable to stop the flames, as there were no ladders available that could reach beyond the sixth floor. The fallen bodies and falling victims also made it difficult for the fire department to approach the building.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

International Sweethearts of Rhythm

I heard an interesting piece on the radio about these ladies. They are fabulous!

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the first integrated all women's band in the United States. During the 1940s the band featured some of the best female musicians of the day. They played swing and jazz on a national circuit that included the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington, DC. After a performance in Chicago in 1943, the Chicago Defender announced the band was, "One of the hottest stage shows that ever raised the roof of the theater!" More recently, they have been labeled "the most prominent and probably best female aggregation of the Big Band era.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ghost Pictures

I always like to look at things like this. Its interesting to see if you can figure out what the "ghost" is or if it's beyond explanation. This site has a section where they show fake or explainable "ghost pictures"

Ghost Pictures

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Titanic Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories usually piss me off. But the other day I was watching a show on the Titanic and decided to check out if there were any conspiracy theories regarding that death ship. There are! Some of them are pretty interesting. My favorite is that the ship was actually switched with another ship. I think it ended up being proved as false..but it's still interesting to read about. Theres even one that involves a mummy.

Titanic Conspiracy Theories

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Pretty cool group of pictures here. Not gothic or anything...but really neat to see.


Make Your Own Camera Obscura

I found this really cool "how to" article online today. If you make one be sure to share your pictures!

Make Your Own Camera Obscura

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dollmakers- The Doll Show

I am really going to try and go by here before April 5th.

Here is an article about the show from the Eagle Rock Patch
The Gallery of the Dolls (Move Over American Girl)
A doll-themed art show opens at Cactus Gallery—from Goth to Mexican folk art, there's enough doll power on display to make Barbie tremble.
By Philipp Sander 

Usually, the place to find dolls is children's bedrooms, and perhaps the corresponding aisle at Toys 'R' Us. Throughout the remainder of March and until April 5, however, Eagle Rock’s Cactus Gallery is a pretty sure bet, too.

Celebrating its sixth birthday, the gallery opened a new show, titled “Dollmakers,” on Saturday, featuring 26 artists from all over the Golden State and more than 200 pieces of their art. The event coincided with NELAart’s monthly Second Saturday Gallery Night.

For an art gallery that specializes in multimedia, painting and sculpture, it might seem a little unusual to put on a show themed around dolls. But as Sandra Mastroianni, the owner of Cactus Gallery, put it: “It just was time to do a doll show.”

The dolls certainly struck a nerve with visitors. The small gallery was packed with artists, art lovers and Eagle Rockers, who gazed in awe at the wide range of doll styles on display while a duo of musicians, Tom Page and 5 Track, on double bass and guitar, respectively, jammed in front of the store. (Check out the photo section.)

Several artists injected a Gothic look in their dolls, giving them white, porcelain-like faces, gaunt eyes and Victorian-era clothing, all of which echoed the Victorian practice of using deceased infants' skeletons for doll-making.

For Sheri DeBow, whose dolls were eerily reminiscent of Helena Bonham-Carter's appearance in the Harry Potter series and in Sweeney Todd (although the likeness is surely coincidental), working with dolls isn’t very different from parenting—and without any of the labors of motherhood.

“After having five kids, I still can create things without having to be pregnant anymore,” she said. Creating dolls can also be a form of self-expression, as one of her pieces, titled “Annie Droid, do what you are told,” makes clear. It reflects her “wearing the mom hat, wearing the wife hat, but also being myself,” as DeBow put it. Her dolls are also inspired by the lives of her children. For example, one of her pieces, “The princess of the palace runs away from home,” revolves around the emotional problems that her daughter faced during DeBow's divorce.

Some artists chose to work only with cloth, sowing modern stuffed figures in pop-art colors. Also well represented were artists who were inspired by Mexican folk art, presenting giant mosaic-decorated clay skulls and Día de los Muertos figurines. Another unusual sight: Claymation animator Edgar Alvarez created studies of homeless persons, complete with shopping carts filled with eclectic items, thereby shining a light on an often-forgotten group in our society.

Clearly, dolls mean different things to different people. “Dolls can be creepy and they can be happy—I try to show both aspects in my work,” said one artist who goes by the name Bastet 2329 and whose Victorian dolls are one of the highlights of the show. Asked why she works with dolls—she also is a painter—she answered, with a smile: “I get to play with dolls all day. Isn't that every girl's dream?”

Dollmakers runs until April 5 at Cactus Gallery and Gifts, 4536 Eagle Rock Blvd. Tues-Sat: 11a.m.-6 p.m. Sun-Mon: by appointment.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Water for Elephants

If you like stories of the good ol' days of the circus, then you should thoroughly enjoy the book, "Water for Elephants." The main character tells the story of his youth, and how he came to be a part of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. So much research was done by the author to really let you have a peek into the daily life of a depression era railroad traveling circus, from the sideshow freaks to the cooch show and on to the Big Top, the characters are colorful and interesting. So, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy even if you just want to kill some time on a rainy day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Motionless Dream

This lovely book is available now. I sent for my own copy the moment it was available. I love it.  The book can be ordered HERE

Friday, March 4, 2011

Funeral March for a Marionette

Love this! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

VooDoo Church ~ Original LA Gothic

If you were in Los Angeles in the early 80's, you likely well remember the emergence of 'Death Rock'. The term 'Gothic' was not used as much back then.  Many of us spent hours around Hollywood, Clubbing at Club Lingerie ( The Veil) , Cathay de Grande, The Rainbow, The Troubadour etc, etc till the wee hours of the morning, when the Dennys on Sunset was almost the only place open to eat and sober up.

 Sunday, late afternoon brought shopping on Melrose Avenue when it was the home of reasonably priced cool shops like Vinyl Fetish, Flip, Poseur, so many more that I just can't recall. And we walked. Parking at one end of the blocks of stores and walking a few miles up and back. Dressing retro was easy then, thrift shops practically gave the old clothes away.  And if it wasn't black already then you found some RIT and dyed it black!  Gothic style emerged and grew here in Los Angeles.

VooDoo Church was born here in the LA Music scene. And though it has gone through many changes over the years, it can still claim title to being one of the foundation Gothic bands.  Since I have known founding members Tina and Bob for over 25 years,  I thought it would be nice to pay tribute to VooDoo Church and their work.

Voodoo Church “EP” was released in December of 1982 and features four songs ("Eyes - Second Death", "Steeple Walls", "Live With the Dead" and "Rest in Peace") written by Tina Winter and Bob Reimer.
VooDoo Church then -Tina Winter – Vocals, Bob Reimer – Hell Guitar, Shadow – Rhythm Guitar, Jeff Porter – Bass and Chris – Drums.

Then there was Tina's interview with NoMag. To this day I have yet to have her make me some of this Chinese food!  Tina, next time we aren't going to BBQ we are going to make Chinese! I will stir- fry , you do the rice. I have 2 Woks.

Flier from the Vinyl Fetish EP signing. Who remembers Henry & Joseph the owners of Vinyl Fetish? They were key to helping so many bands in LA then.

The band’s first full-length album, “Unholy Burial” through Strobelight Records, was released in November of 2004.  This album’s 12 tracks were recorded and written by Tina Winter and Randall Cole between March and August of 2004, with the exception of two songs which were originally written by Tina and Bob in 1983.

Key Club, Hollywood- September 2005

Voodoo Church’s latest release is, “Eminence of Demons” through Strobelight Records.  Released on November 20, 2009, the writing and recording of this CD took place at various times between 2006 through 2009. 

For more on VooDoo Church please visit their main site HERE

And be sure to 'Like' VooDoo Church on Facebook HERE

VooDooChurch today- Tina Winter, Rob (Bob) Reimer, Randy Cole, Tony Havoc, Darlin Havoc.

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