Why is the “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” Is Important Today? Today I will be talking about the importance of the “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire”. It may not seem that the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, which happened over a century ago in New York City, would be relevant today — but it is. It was a tragedy that opened the nation’s eyes to poor working conditions in garment factories and other workplaces, and set in motion a historic era of labor reforms. Lots of people lost their lives to this fire. (Me) On March 25, 1911, a fierce fire broke out at a factory on the ninth floor of a building in New York City. Some of the exits and stairwells had been locked to prevent workers from taking breaks, stealing, and keeping out late …show more content…
Some had no choice but to jump cause the fire wax burning their faces. Most of the people didn’t make it. Some jumped but died, some broke throught the safety net cause, the net couldn’t take the kind of pressure from the people. So there is some information before this trgic event happened so, let me give you a summary of the story. (Me) So The Triangle factory, owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, was located in the top three floors of the Asch Building, on the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, in Manhattan, New York. There were 146 workers. 123 were women and the other 23 were men. It was a true sweatshop, employing young immigrant women who worked in a cramped space at lines of sewing machines. Nearly all the workers were teenage girls who did not speak english, working 12 hours a day, every day of the week. (Keith Mestrich) So in the building there were four elevators with access to the factory floors, but only one was fully operational and the workers had to file down a long, narrow corridor in order to reach it. Which doesn’t make sense cause, for some reason they apparently didn’t get the other three elevators fixed. There were also two stairways down to the street, but one was locked from the outside to prevent stealing and the other only opened inward. Now this was one of the problems that so many died in the fire. …show more content…
The blaze, at the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx, killed 87 people, the most deadly fire in the city since 1911. (Now this wasn’t the only fire that the Shirtwaist Factory have had before), The Triangle factory was burned and scorched twice in 1902, while their Diamond Waist Company factory burned twice, in 1907 and in 1910. (Zachary Kent) It seems that Blanck and Harris deliberately torched their workplaces before business hours in order to collect on the large fire-insurance policies they purchased, a not uncommon practice in the early 20th century. While this was not the cause of the 1911 fire, it contributed to the tragedy, as Blanck and Harris refused to install sprinkler systems and take other safety measures in case they needed to burn down their shops again. Which was a real stupid idea and their building burned twice so that had to have made them change their mind. (Zachary
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The Factory Owners shouldn’t have locked the doors. The workers inside were getting burnt to a crisp during the fire. The workers were trying to open the doors to escape but were locked inside. Source 11, Placing the Responsibility says, “Harris and Blanck, who comprise the firm whose employees were burned, and who had been already indicated by the Grand Jury, were declared responsible for the death of the two women whose cases were presented to the coroner's jury, because of culpable and criminal negligence in leaving a door locked which should have permitted these women to escape.” If the doors were never locked, so many workers could have escaped and lived.
One of the main reasons the fire took such a psychological toll on the New Yorkers was because of the workers jumping to there deaths. One witness even remarked the event saying quote 'I know a new sound a terrible sound the sound of a body hitting the pavement". The inferno was also not an uncommon occurrence the triangle shirt was burned before the tragedy to collect insurance money. Knowing this information, many Jewish and women workers went on strike to secure improved working conditions. There strike in fact proved successful with the New York state legislature creating the Factory Investigating Commission.
Most of the people who were working in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory were on a strike before the fire for working rights and safety precautions. If the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory followed the safety precautions the strike was proposing, the fire could have been prevented, and would have saved many lives. According to source 5, the doors were locked, long wooden tables became obstacles, and boxes crowded the exit. All of that could have easily been prevented. Also, higher class people were also involved in the strike which made it bigger and more popular to people.
Trapped Inside the Blaze On “March 25, 1911 one of the deadliest industrial disasters” in US history took place in New York City (Wiki paragraph 1). The fire caused 146 deaths and many more injuries of the workers in the Asch building. It took place on the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. Many of the workers who couldn’t escape the blaze decided to jump of the building to their deaths so their bodies could be recognized.
First, the acting fire department commissioner could have enforced the owners and workers to participate in fire drills. These drills could have deterred the number of employees that traveled to the roof and prevented the number of employees that ultimately jumped to their death. While New York at the time was working on passing stricter factory fire protection laws, there should have been more fire inspections at this particular facility due to the four previous fires that had occurred. When we look closely at this fire, blueprints show that the stairwells were only a mere 33 inches wide. With the amount of workers entering and exiting this building 33 inches is not enough when large quantities of people must exit quickly while fire personnel is coming to distinguish any fires.
Many people might say, why was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire so important? The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was so important because it was a tragedy that opened the nation's eyes to poor working conditions in garment factories. Other question might be ask why were the doors locked in the Triangle Shirtwaist fire? The building had only one fire escape, Long tables and bulky machines trapped many of the victims. Panicked workers were crushed as they struggled with doors that were locked by managers to prevent theft, or doors that opened the wrong way.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire begun on March 25,1911. The fire started because someone had dropped a cigarette and started the fire. The fire started on the 8th floor of the factory, it continued up to the 9th floor. The fire killed around 145 workers. Some people jumped and killed themselves rather than getting burned alive, one jumper survived the jump.
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 25, 1911, a fire started at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that claimed the lives of one hundred and forty-six workers. As a result of the fire, trials and debates occurred that contended the factory owners right to control their business against their duty to implement safe working conditions for their employees. Despite the trial resulting in no charges for the business owners the triangle fire is responsible for stricter safety codes and brought attention on the labor movement. In order to fully understand the changes that resulted because of the shirtwaist fire, you must first know what life was life prior to the fire.
The two owners of the company Harris and Blanck did not care for a safe working environment all they wanted was for there workers to work and make money for them. The owners actually knew about the fire before it would destroy the upper floors, they didn't tell any of there workers so they could save their selves. What's ironic about this situation is that the building that was destroyed by a fire was supposed to be fireproof. Even though this seems like a lot of negatives there was a positive to this fire. Many leaders you have heard of would lead a revolution, this revolution being some of the people that made it out of the fire would end up revolting against there companies.
And the wind wasn’t helping either. The wind made the fire spread faster in different directions. “The wind had increased in velocity, and burning chunks of wood were being carried for many blocks before they fell to earth. No accurate measure of the wind’s velocity was made during the fire, though many eyewitnesses claimed it was as strong as a hurricane.” They were sent to the wrong address but could see the flames from afar and could modify their route.
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.
Up until the early 20th century, American labor laws did not protect employees and work environments were not monitored for unsafe conditions. Factories were allowed to run without proper fire exits, ventilation, pay, breaks and even children were forced into labor. These unsafe conditions came crashing down just before the end of the workday on March 25th, 1911 in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City. In just under 30 minutes, 146 lives perished (Benin). Today, we call these factories “sweatshops” and they are primarily found in countries that lack laws enforcing proper working conditions.
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.