TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FACTORY FIRE



Mr.Cannavale

11/7/2014

8­123

TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FACTORY FIRE

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New

York City burned, killing 145 workers. It is remembered as one of the most

infamous incidents in American industrial history, as the deaths were largely

preventable–most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety features

and locked doors within the factory building. The tragedy brought widespread

attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and led to the

development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the

safety of workers.Durring this tragic moment the owners were to blame.

The neglected safety features at the time.The Triangle factory,

owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, was located in the top three floors of

the Asch Building. 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 teenaged girls who did not speak English, working 12

hours a day, every day. In 1911, 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. There were two stairways

down to the street, but one was locked from the outside to prevent stealing

and the other only opened inward. The fire escape was so narrow that it

would have taken hours for all the workers to use it, even in the best of

circumstances.

The owners may have coused the fire and could have prevented

this.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 scorched twice in 1902, while their Diamond

Waist Company factory burned twice, in 1907 and in 1910. It seems that

Blanck and Harris deliberately torched their workplaces before business

hours in order to collect on the large fire­insurance 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.

The workers were to blame.The immagrants may have coused the

fire to leave work early knowing it may couse deaths.The tight hallways were

included to pevent steeling. This also may have been revenge on the owners

for abusing them and also forceing them to work for many hours. If the

workers to blame why was there so many of them going back for family.They

would have warned there family members and tried to save them.If they

were to blame they would loose family members and there job.The owners

on the other hand had nothing to loose they can and will easly replace

workers and the insurence will pay for the damage to the factory and

more.For the family members of the victims that were killed the owners paid

them money, but the owners were given ten times that amount by the

insurance company.

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New

York City burned, killing 145 workers. The owners were to blame but the

owners blame the workers.Who do you think was to blame the owners or the

harmless immagrante childern?Keep in mined there was no safty

precautions in the building to provent this.The immagrents paid there lives

for this and lost everythig,The owners lost nothing but as they call the lousy

immagrents.