The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


Our nation has grown to what it is today because we have continued to learn from past mistakes in an effort to grow and be better than ever. Disasters are no exception. In 1911, a disastrous fire in New York City took the lives of 146 people, and could have been prevented had we known then how important building safety codes really are. The 146 lives lost were the ultimate martyrs for worker safety, and today, even though it’s not perfect, our country has some of the best working conditions in the world.

Throughout our nation’s history, great disasters have prompted major changes in society—turning points with an undeniable impact on American civilization. In ...

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nation: improved fire codes, healthier working conditions for labor workers, and increased factory safety standards.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Company made shirtwaist style ladies’ blouses, popularized in an expanding retail market for ‘ready to wear’ clothing. The company, owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, moved in to the top three floors of the new ten story Asch Building at the South end of Manhattan Island in New York. (Hopkinson, 2003)The clothing factory employed close to 500 men, women, and children. The majority were young, female, Jewish or Italian immigrants who worked seventy-two hour work weeks sewing clothes for a measly $1.50 per week, uncompensated for overtime. Labor disputes developed across the textile industry as companies were described as “sweat shops” and “fire and death traps”. (Lewis, 2010) In September 1909, Blanck and Harris suspected employees were trying to organize a union and reacted with a layoff of 150 people. In response, the ...

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aisle ways which slowed down the evacuation process. As the fire spread, an employee on the 8th floor named Dinah Lifschitz made an attempt to warn the ninth and tenth floors by telephone. Only the tenth floor answered and received the message in time to allow most of the employees, and the owners, to flee to the roof. (Stein, 1962) The building next door held classes for New York University Law School, and students saw the fire and rushed to the roof. They were able to help survivors from the Asch Building over to their rooftop. Out of 70 workers on the 10th floor, all but one survived. The employees on the 9th floor had no warning, and were gathering their coats to leave when fire ...

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. (2011, November 12). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from
"The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.", 12 Nov. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2020. <>
"The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire." November 12, 2011. Accessed November 30, 2020.
"The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire." November 12, 2011. Accessed November 30, 2020.
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Added: 11/12/2011 07:00:20 PM
Submitted By: t3403
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2013
Pages: 8

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