Visit Website The danger of fire in factories like the Triangle Shirtwaist was well-known, but high levels of corruption in both the garment industry and city government generally ensured that no useful precautions were taken to prevent fires. Blanck and Harris already had a suspicious history of factory fires. The Triangle factory was twice scorched inwhile their Diamond Waist Company factory burned twice, in and in
The fire quickly spread to the 9th and 10th floors, engulfing the whole of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where hundreds of workers, mostly women, toiled daily at sewing machines to produce the ready-to-wear blouses popular at the time. Just a little more than a year before, 20, shirtwaist workers had gone on strike, demanding shorter hours, safer conditions, and recognition of the Ladies Garment Workers Union.
While some companies settled with their workers, Triangle remained an anti-union shop that disregarded the safety concerns and refused to participate in the Protocol of Peace agreement developed to smooth labor relations following the strike. On the day the fire broke out, the doors to the Triangle factory exits were locked to prevent employee theft and unauthorized breaks.
As flames made the Greene Street stairway impassable, workers crowded onto a single rickety fire escape, which soon collapsed. Others climbed up to the roof or crammed into an elevator that quit working after a few trips in the heat. The incident shocked the city. Newspapers from the Yiddish Forverts to the New York Times became outlets for grief and anger as the bodies of the victims—mostly Italian and Jewish immigrants, some of them girls as young as 14—were laid out at a makeshift morgue at the 26th street pier for their families to identify.
NYU came to own a piece of that history when Frederick Brown donated the building to the university in Now, each March, the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition organizes a ceremony to commemorate the tragedy at the corner of Green and Washington Place, in the heart of the Washington Square campus.
Inthe Grey Art Gallery mounted a special exhibition for the th anniversary of the fire. It can be disorienting to contemplate the fear and anguish of workers fighting for their lives as you follow Kroner around in what is now bright and convivial academic space; the very spot where the fire started, for example, is now a busy chemistry lab.
Kroner also points to one positive chapter in the whole terrible Triangle story, which involves a lesser-known connection to the university.
Sommer was teaching in what is now Silver then called the Main Buildingand when he and his students realized what was happening, they rushed to the windows with ladders—which they extended over a divide to serve as planks to crawl across—helping around 50 Triangle workers escape to safety.
I threw open the door of the lecture room and then the door of the law school faculty room, which opens on an areaway separating our building from the one in which the blaze started. Some of the boys followed me, and we saw that the ten story building across the areaway was on fire.
The open space between us and that building was filled with ascending smoke. There were ear-piercing shrieks and girls appeared at the windows of the shirt factory.
We hurried to the roof of our building, where two ladders had been left by painters, and the boys shoved the ladders across the areaway to windows on the opposite side. The lads worked like beavers, apparently never giving a thought to the possibility that their own building might catch fire from the flames that were leaping out into the open space.Dennis Kroner knows every inch of the Triangle Factory site, from the Brown Building's basement up.
A crowd gathered at the scene of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on March 25, Photo from the George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Introduction. Three stories of a ten-floor building at the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place were burned yesterday, and while the fire was going on young men and women at least of them mere girls were burned to death or killed by jumping to the pavement below.
With easy-to-read text and large, brightly colored illustrations, this exciting retelling of the Triangle fire provides a good introduction to the topic.
Readers unfamiliar with the events of the tragedy will gain a basic understanding of what life was like for immigrants working in factory settings and of the resulting safety measures. Introduction. On March 25, , the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, killing workers.
It is remembered as one . APUSH chp.
STUDY. PLAY. Triangle Shirtwaist fire. An industrial disaster in NYC that caused the death of garment workers who died from the fire or jumped to their deaths.
The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth the the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought. Editorial FIRE AND WORKER HEALTH AND SAFETY: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE RICHARD CAMPBELL CHARLES LEVENSTEIN ABSTRACT One century ago, the landmark fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in.