Triangle Shirt Factory

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. This crime and tragedy was an important event in labor history in the United States. 146 workers, the vast majority young immigrant women, died in the fire. The flimsy fire escape collapsed, the fire brigade's ladders were too short, and many jumped to their deaths from the 8th, 9th and 10th floor windows. Most importantly, the doors were locked to prevent the sweatshop workers from leaving during working hours and the heaps of rubbish everywhere were a fire hazard. The owners of the factory were prosecuted, but acquitted of manslaughter charges. However, the direct result was to strengthen labor safety laws and the cause of the labor unions, particularly the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU).

Remember the Triangle Fire website

Items in the library catalog about the fire and the history surrounding it include books for children and adults, with several works of fiction.

Labor History in the United States in the library catalog