Triangle Fire

Triangle Fire

The tragic Triangle Waist Company fire on March 25, 1911 in New York City’s Greenwich Village was a major turning point in American history. One hundred and forty-six workers, mostly teenage Jewish and Italian immigrant girls, perished after the fire broke out on Triangle Company’s sweatshop on the 8th  and 9th floors of the building. Many were locked in, a common measure to prevent theft, and the only available exit was a multi-story plummet to the pavement below. Others burned alive or were stampeded to death in the rush to escape.

After the Fire  Governor John Alden Dix (D) created the Factory Investigating Commission (FIC) and granted it powers unprecedented in New York’s history. The FIC experienced remarkable success in restricting child labor and granting women workers a reasonable workday. 

Cry Wolf Quotes

I want to say that a bakery that conducts their business in what you term a cellar can keep it just as clean as though they were in any other part of the building. I believe it entirely depends upon the person who is running the place.

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Leslie A. Ware, baker.
03/01/1912 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

You can no longer distinguish the real estate owner by the smile of prosperity, because his property is now a burden and a liability instead of a comfort and a source of income. To own a factory building in New York City is now a calamity.

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Op-ed by George W. Olvany, special counsel to the Real Estate Board.
05/03/1914 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

Notwithstanding all the talk of a probable exodus of manufacturing interests the commission has not found a single case of a manufacturer intending to leave the State because of the enforcement of the factory laws.

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Factory Investigating Commission
07/27/1914 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

If you pass this bill, it will not be ten years certainly; I believe it will not be five years until practically every cellar bakery in New York city will be out of business.

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Frank P. Hill, representative of the New York Retail Bakers’ Association. Only date available: 1913.
01/01/1913 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws