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

The hardship entailed on a certain proportion of the home workers, without means of support, the distress they will suffer, their loss will be greater than the benefit coming to the public through the elimination of that work.

-
Max Adler, owner of a garment factory. Only date available: 1913.
01/01/1913 | 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.

-
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

The business men of this country who have made and saved money should no longer be supervised, criticized, or controlled by men who have neither made nor saved it.

-
State Superintendent of Banks Eugene Lamb Richards addressing the New York State Bankers’ Association.
01/31/1915 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

[This package of bills is] superfluous and entirely unnecessary and is a menace to our business.

-
Charles E. Abbott, representing the Wholesale Bakers’ Association. Only date available: 1913.
01/01/1913 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws