How Did The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

1807 Words8 Pages

On March 25, 1911, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught on fire and killed over a hundred workers. It is known as one of the most appalling incident to occur in factory history. There was many skeptical thoughts about how the fire started and how it caused innumerable amount of damage. This devastating incident caused the industry to realize what was going wrong in the workplace. Most of the factory owners were not making it a safe environment for their workers and caused this fire to occur. By not instituting safety regulations and having locked doors, it made it very difficult to escape the fire. The Triangle Factory was owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris and was located on the third floor of the Asch building. …show more content…

The age range of the women workers were from age fifteen to age twenty-four and very few male workers worked in this factory. The reasoning for these women workers to work long, hard hours helped them by “sending brothers to high school, to art school, to dental college, to engineering courses” (p. 96). Most of the work was as simple as “cutting threads, which can be done by an unpracticed girl of fourteen” (p. 44). Despite the harsh conditions of this factory, they only paid their workers six dollars a week and extra money could be made if they worked the whole week. These workers would hunch over hefty and risky sewing machines that only worked by foot pedaling. The rooms they were required to work in were faint in light and had little to no conditioned air flowing through the factory. The workers worked from seven in the morning until eight at night and only had a half-hour lunch break. This was very common for many immigrants living in the city of Manhattan and wasn’t seen as an issue until the buildings started killing many workers by getting caught on fire. It was said that these factors that these women workers worked in were normal because, “women will submit to worse conditions, longer hours, and shorter wages than men” because “”they only had themselves to support”” (p. 96). The extremely low pay in an environment so …show more content…

She wrote an autobiography explaining the fire and relating the fire to bigger issues such as safety reforms and laws that needed to be implemented into the workplace immediately to prevent future accidents. Rose Schneiderman explained many different scenarios of victims in her book and explained the aftermath of the horrible incident to provide clarification to the audience of how big and controversial this issue was. Unfortunately, the strike and her autobiography was very difficult to promote and advertise due to it being about mainly women. It took years of fighting for safety working precautions and laws to be set in place and took a while for individuals around the world to see how it has affected many people’s lives. Not only did she take up for women, but she also took up for men in her speech that she wrote that made it to the New York Times. Schneiderman mentioned that, “the life of men and women is so cheap” that “there are so many of us for one job it matters little if 143 of us are burned to death” (p. 100) and this caught many individual’s attention. It was said that, “the words that night were clear and strong enough to be heard all the way up to Albany” (p. 101). Her speech was published in one of the most famous newspaper companies and was a stepping stone to making the workplace

Open Document