On March 25, 1911, 123 women and 23 men, died as a result of a fire in a factory they worked in. That day was marked as the deadliest industrial disaster in Manhattan history. In the wake of such a terrible tragedy came the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU). The ILGWU fought for better working conditions for all sweatshop workers. However, the union wouldn’t gain attention until after the owners of the Triangle Waist Company, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, were indicted on first and second degree manslaughter, but were ultimately found to be not guilty. The question of how could this happened would have be answered by what happened that day.
The Seton Hall University fire took place in January of the year 2000. Sadly, three students were killed and dozens were injured due to a fire that had started in the common room area. At first details about the cause of the fire were a little confusing, there were many reports that said smoking was the cause and a few that had stated that some drunk students had set the fire as a prank and the fire spread more rapidly than they had anticipated as a result of the carpeting containing synthetic fibers that had acted almost like an accelerant due to its makeup (Boland Hall Fire). This was such an unfortunate happening, what started as a seemingly harmless prank turned into an extremely dangerous situation that none would soon forget. During this incident, students thought it best to ignore the sounding of the fire alarms because
“Late one night, when we were all in bed, Mrs. O’Leary lit a lantern in the shed. Her cow kicked it over, then winked her eye and said, ‘There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight!’ (Abbott)” In 1871, a disaster arose in Chicago and reshaped the city permanently: a fire scorched around three square miles of land, leveled thousands of buildings, and stole hundreds of lives (“Chicago Fire of 1871”). Although the effects of this tragedy were harrowing, it actually served as the catalyst which allowed Chicago to become one of America’s largest, most influential cities. How could such a devastating event have such positive effects? A crucial element of Chicago’s history, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 can be understood by studying the cause of its severity, its impact on the city, and the recovery efforts of the people.
It was owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris. The factory employed young children and women who had poor conditions to say the least. The factory had doors that locked from the outside to prevent workers from taking too many bathroom breaks. The building had four elevators, only one being fully functional, but in order to reach it one would have to walk down a long narrow hallway. There were two stairwells down to the bottom floor. One being locked for safety purposes; the other only being able to be opened from the outside. The one fire escape would not have been adequate enough to sufficiently evacuate the workers. Blanck and Harris were known to have burned down their factories for the fire insurance, so they refused to install a sprinkler system. The fire was started from a rag bin. Someone tried to put the fire out with a hose, but the hose was rotted and the valve rusted shut. People tried to escape, but the elevator broke down. The doors to the stairwells were locked, and many girls, in a desperate attempt jumped to their deaths. 145 girls and women either burned alive or suffocated. Despite there being sufficient evidence, the courts failed to indict the owners on manslaughter charges. To prevent further disasters from happening, the Sullivan-Hoey Fire Protection law was passed, which was a crucial win for the
Frances Perkins, a survivor from the Shirtwaist Factory Fire quotes “Moved by this sense of stricken guilt, we banded ourselves together to find a way by law to prevent this kind of disaster.” Frances Perkins became secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and this quote said by Perkins “something must be done. We’ve got to turn this into some kind of victory, some kind of constructive action,” helped new workplace safety standards into law in the state of New York. The benefits that I would like the audience to see is how workplace safety is important by learning about the history of regulation, OSHA, and workers compensation.
Working conditions in the late nineteenth century improved with the introduction of labor activists. Labor activists tried for better conditions in multiple ways, the most common being the formation of unions. There were two primary types of workers in unions: the more-radicalized strikers, and the passive mediators. Samuel Gompers, an American labor activist, was an example of the latter. Samuel talked about corporate change in his letter Letter to the Hon. Peter Grosscup. He wrote “ Ask these whether the conqueror (monopoly) cares whether his trophy (the laborers) is destroyed or preserved. Ascertain from employers whether the laborer is not regarded the same as a machine, thrown out as soon as all the work possible has been squeezed out of him.” Once a worker would lose his maximum efficiency, he would be replaced by the influx of immigrants entering the United States. There was no idea of tenure, only a merit concept. Furthermore, in order to grow fiscally, it was best for corporations to avoid paying for or adhering to safety precautions. For example, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of New York City in March 25, 1911, was a fire in which one hundred forty-six people died. The massive death count came from the lack of security precautions. For the company to keep a maximum amount of efficiency, workers wouldn’t be allowed breaks. To enforce this no-breaks rules, most doors in the building were locked, which trapped and killed most workers during the fire. In an newspaper interview Fire Chief Edward Croker said “Well, from what we could find—what was left of that place up there—I don’t think there was any doubt there was a partition inside of the doorway leading out into the Green Street side of that building, and from the indication of the number of people we found where that partition was, that door was locked, and the door that
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire was a devastating fire that killed 146 girls in New York City (Leap for Life, Leap for Death). At this time, citizens of New York were furious and demanded that the government do something to prevent future tragedies. The government responded and the reforms that the government made, it changed the future of New York industry. The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, one of history’s deadliest fires, came as a result of outrageously unsafe working conditions, led to a high death toll and injury total, but, ultimately resulted in reforms that helped safeguard future factory workers.
Many times, the strength of an establishment is not fully realized until it has proven its ability to overcome a setback and become better for it. Chicago is a primary example of a city which proved its strength by undergoing disaster, and becoming better for it. Perhaps the most jarring of these disasters was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, symbolized by the second of four stars on the Chicago flag. This tragedy, claiming the lives of hundreds and causing millions of dollars in damage, was horrid, but the city overcame and grew to be one of America’s most influential cities. A crucial element of Chicago’s history, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 can be understood by studying the cause of its severity, its impact on the city, and the recovery efforts of the people.
The Haymarket affair is one most important events in Chicago’s labor protest is questionably still unknown to many of high school kids and down. At this mark in Chicago history several horrifying, and great events happened. Industrial workers were getting fed up with the intense hours and wanted change from their shady bosses. People associated with all the industrial works started to arrange private meeting to talk about what’s wrong within the industries. Soon several of the bosses found out about these meeting and paid the police to eliminate these meetings. After the police stopped several of these meeting the workers didn’t stop there, they started to publicly express the wrongs in these industries. Some of these actions would be creating small strikes, creating slogans heard everywhere like "Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest, Eight Hours for What We Will!" or "Shortening the Hours Increase the Pay".
The detrimental Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire is considered to be one of the most tragic disasters in history. On March 25th, 1911, a fire broke out and killed 146 garment workers who were mostly women. These women worked countless hours with low wages and inhumane working conditions in a factory. Even though this event was tragic, the triangle shirtwaist fire helped to shape the new world for the better. The multitude of workers trapped within the inferno to their demise was the final straw for the mistreatment of America’s workers. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire led to imperative reforms that sought for adequate conditions for workers and the advent of the Progressive Era. (Source 2).
The triangle shirtwaist company was owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris and was located on the Greene Street in Manhattan. Most of the workers were teenaged girls that worked long hours daily. Most were immigrants and knew little English. In March 25, 1911 a fire was initiated at the top of the Asch Building where the company was located. How the fire started is still a mystery. Some believe it could have been because of a cigarette that was thrown close to some flammable, a machine, or even a faculty in electricity. The outcome of this horrible disaster caused 146 deaths. Within the eighteen minutes it lasted, all of these workers tried to save their lives by trying to escape in different ways. Some tried using one out of the four elevators
On March 25th, 1911, one of the most deadliest industrial disasters took place in Manhattan, New York City. Killing more than 145 workers, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is remembered to be one of the most monstrous incidents in American industrial history. The many deaths were predominately preventable, and most of the victims died from carelessness of the owners and almost non-existent factory regulations. This never forgotten tragedy led to the advancement of factory regulations and a series of laws that helped better protect the safety of workers all around the globe.
I am not going to answer that question just yet. Without assessing all of the information to prevent the making of unfounded accusations. First things first you may be asking yourself what a Triangle Shirtwaist is. A triangle shirtwaist is a type of blouse that many women wore in the early 1900's. You probably may want to acquaint yourself with the victims of the inferno. A vast, vast majority of the casualties were Jews from Italy or Russia. A high count of them was under the age of 25. Now let's talk about the owners the company. The names of the owner's of the company were Max Blanck and Isaac Harris As soon as the news of the inferno hit the printing presses the citizens
In April 2013, Matthew Yglesias, an American Economics Journalist proposed the people of Bangladesh would not appreciate having stronger safety standards in their country because it would cause undue harm economically. He asserts Bangladesh should have different lower standards for safety because they are a poorer country. Most of the people involved in the New York tragedy of 1911 also known as the Triangle Fire, would not agree with Matthew Yglesias on his assertion that lower economic status would be an indication of lower safety standards in factories. Namely, the workers, the union leaders, the progressive reformers and the political leaders would all vote for higher standards commiserate with the United States. The only ones who would not argue with Yglesias are the owners of the Triangle Factory with their vested interest, their own problems of multiple fires and accusations of safety neglect. They would agree with Yglesias. This is evidenced by the documents in The Triangle Fire by Jo Ann E. Argersinger.
On the seventh of February 2009, the Black Saturday Bushfire burnt across the state of Victoria. The most devastating bushfire in the Australian history. It is considered to be one of the deadliest fires to burn in Australia as it managed to burn down over 4500-square-kilometres of land, destroy 2029 homes, kill 173 people, injure 5000 people and kill thousands of animals. Individuals, groups and government stood together to help the victims in any possible way. They did so by donating money individually, communities helping the victims and government assisting them financially.