ILGWU Leon Stein Photographs, 1909-1911
Collection Number: 5780/087 P

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives
Cornell University Library


ILGWU Leon Stein Photographs, 1909-1911
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives
Collection Number:
5780/087 P
This collection consists of photographs transferred from the Leon Stein papers. Photocopies of the photographs were inserted in the original locations to identify transferred documents.
Stein, Leon
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
0.94 cubic feet
Collection material in English

Biographical / Historical

The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union was once one of the largest labor unions in the United States founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States. It was one of the first U.S. Unions to have a membership consisting of mostly females, and it played a key role in the labor history of the 1920s and 1930s. The union is generally referred to as the "ILGWU" or the "ILG". The ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, and political influence to become one of the most powerful forces in American organized labor by mid-century. Representing workers in the women's garment industry, the ILGWU worked to improve working and living conditions of its members through collective bargaining agreements, training programs, health care facilities, cooperative housing, educational opportunities, and other efforts. The ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1995 to form the Union of Needle trades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in 2004 to create a new union known as UNITE HERE. The two unions that formed UNITE in 1995 represented only 250,000 workers between them, down from the ILGWU's peak membership of 450,000 in 1969.

Biographical / Historical

Leon Stein was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1912. After graduating from City College of New York in 1934, he worked as a cutter and patternmaker in New York City's garment industry, and became a full-time organizer in 1941. The author of many articles and books, Stein served as the Editor of Justice, the official organ of the ILGWU, from 1952 to 1977. He died at the age of 78.
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Conditions Governing Use

This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.


Preferred Citation

ILGWU Leon Stein Photographs #5780/087 P. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

Related Materials

Related Collections: 5780: ILGWU records 5780/069: ILGWU Leon Stein collection 5780/087: ILGWU Leon Stein Papers


Asch, Joseph J.
Beers, William L.
Bernstein, Morris
Bernstein, Samuel
Blanck, Max
Brown, Louis
Brunnette, Laura
Cahan, Abraham, 1860-1951
Casey, John
Chaikin, Sol C.
DCastrello, Josie
Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982
Ederman, Jennie
Goldstein, Ester
Goldstein, Yetta
Gompers, Samuel, 1850-1924
Greenberg, Pauline
Greenspan, William
Greer, David Hummell, bp., 1844-1919
Grossman, Rachel
Grunspan, William
Harris, Isaac
Kaplan, Tessie
Kessler, Rebecca
Kupersmith, Tillie
Kurtz, Benjamin
Labbatte, Annie
Lansner, Fannie
Levine, Pauline
Liernark, Rose
Lontella, Caspar
Markowitz, Abraham
McGrath, Philip
Meyers, Yetta
Miller, Rudolph P.
Mooney, John H.
Morgan, Anne
Mulliner, Gabrielle
Oberstein, Julia
Perkins, F.(Francis)
Philbin, Eugene A.(Eugene Ambrose), 1857-1920
Prendergast, William
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
Saracino, Sara
Saracino, Tessie
Schiff, Jacob H.(Jacob Henry), 1847-1920
Schmidt, Rose
Schneiderman, Rose, 1882-1972
Schrochet, Violet
Selemi, Sophie
Siegel, Bessie
Solomon, Rosie
Spunt, Gussie
Stein, Leon, 1912-
Stern, Jennie
Sylaver, Benjamin
Szivos, Irene
Terkanova, Clotilde
Ullo, Annie
Ullo, Mary
Viviana, Bessie
Weisner, Tessie
Wise, Stephen S.
Zitta, Joseph
Brown Building (New York, N.Y.)
Triangle Shirtwaist Company --Fire, 1911
Women's Trade Union League
Clothing workers -- Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York
Shirtwaist Makers' Strike, New York, N.Y., 1909

Box 1 Folder 1
Shirtwaist Strike
Scope and Contents
Includes 8x10 negatives of strikers voting with hands raised and Samuel Gompers addressing striking Shirtwaist Makers at Cooper Union; strikers marching to City Hall; selling The Call
Box 1 Folder 2
Triangle Fire
Scope and Contents
During the fire, the building and the victims. Includes the Asch Building (cropped) with crowds in the streets below; print negative fighting the fire with people and a (fire?) wagon in the street; burned bodies on the Green St. sidewalk; fire fighter in burned out building; identifying the victims at the morgue; negative print of the street with fire hoses; negative print of a small group
Box 1 Folder 3
Triangle Fire
Scope and Contents
Mourning and protests. Includes street protest, young women and men with signs; neg. print street gathering large sign in Hebrew (modified from original) 2 small clusters of mourners following horse drawn hearse; woman putting flowers on memorial marker for "Annie" [flopped];
Box 1 Folder 4
Triangle Fire
Scope and Contents
Newspaper images and drawings. Includes clipping "250,000 see 80,000 march in rain to honor fire dead" and "punish workers for being in procession"; "the mourning procession"; "who is responsible" line drawing; street image after the fire; 8 x 10" negs. of "the mourning procession"; 9th floor burned door latch and handle with the bolt shot, line drawing of the triangle "rent, profit, interest" from the NY Call; "Silent parade of 50,000".
Box 1 Folder 5
Triangle Fire
Scope and Contents
Anniversary memorial and monuments. Includes fenced in plot with the sign "in memory of the young men and women who perished in the fire at the Triangle Waist Company's shop, Asch Building, NY, March 25, 1911 [?] Erected November 1911 by their sisters and brothers, members of the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local No. 25."; people on podium for anniversary memorial, April 1971; large memorial marker for the fire victims, with writing on photo; print and 8 x 10 neg. of fire survivor and representatives at Triangle fire street marker, on the 63rd Anniversary.
Box 1 Folder 6
Triangle Fire
Scope and Contents
Miscellaneous. Includes photos of a check for $250.00 by Harris and Blanck for advertising in the NY Call, rejected by the publishers; photo of people gathered with Triangle owners Blank and Harris.
Box 1 Folder 7
Scope and Contents
Includes women and men standing in unknown building; original silver gelatin portrait of two young women (twins?) in cabinet card frame; 8 x 10 negs. of Lewis Hine photo of a woman walking with a cloth bundle on her head, a street scene with signs for laundry, ice cream parlor, children and adults, from late 1890's early 1900's; a fire fighter lowering a body in the Monarch Underwear Corp, fire, March 19, 1958; homework shop scene with men and women hand sewing, (girl with scissors in mouth); neg. print of street scene; and other positive prints of street scenes [Lewis Hine?].
Box 1 Folder 8
Photocopies of oversized images located in 5780/087, box 14
Scope and Contents
Leon Stein speaking with a survivor of the fire; 50th anniversary memorial gathering, March 25th, 1961; modern fire ladder at the corner of the Asch building; Leon Stein looking out an NYU classroom window.
Box 1 Folder 9
Scope and Contents
Negative and print set including Women's Trade Union League of New York parade, [ca. 1913?]; WTUL (Women's Trade Union League) of NY women in pointed hats holding Banner with "The 8 hour Day" ca. 1910; Women in horse drawn wagon with bunting decoration and banner "Italian Vanguard" ca 1910; Horse-drawn wagon carrying women and male driver, platform decorated with signs and fabric, ca. 1910; Shop with English and Yiddish sign in the window "help the garment workers in their fight for bread and freedom", ca. 1910; People coming out of a building holding bags [of food?] others heading in, ca. 1910; "provisions for striking tailors" horse-drawn wagon, basket of vegetables, 1910; Provisions collected for tailor's strike, 1910; Women and child standing next to food [bread, potatoes?] ca. 1910; Garment strikers benefit, sashes and banner headlines; Union Square rally, ca. 1910; March near Union Square ca 1910; Women marching ca 1910; ILGWU GEB Sponsored dinner honoring AFL Exec. Council 1923 with crop marks; GEB dinner, Manhattan Lyceum, 1923; Leon Stein and Sol Chaikin at an ILGWU event, ca 1970 (print only); Inaugural ceremony for the ORT Center of Montreuil, France.
Box 2 Folder 1
Glass plate negatives in box labeled Astoria Press.
Scope and Contents
Copy negatives of photo reproductions from originals pinned to the wall. Two unique images, both in fragments: a funeral procession next to Asch building and "Asch after the fire" with firefighters spraying the building seen from the corner of Washington and Green?. Images include: Identifying bodies at the morgue; "We mourn our loss"; "Carrying away remains of bodies in baskets"; "lineup for funeral" retouched; "Bodies soaked on sidewalk"; "Funeral for one"; "Inside factory, strike" men and women in large group. IN MULTIPLE FRAGMENTS: "Honoring the Triangle victims"; Funeral at Asch building"; "examining bodies on the sidewalk" and "Asch after the fire"
Box 3 Folder 1
Brown Brothers - Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
Scope and Contents
photograph with stiff backing -- found in box 76 of 5780 P, moved to this collection
Box 4
Images digitized from the collection.