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

We are of the opinion that if the present recommendations are insisted upon…factories will be driven from the city, labor will be compelled to accompany them, factories, tenements, and small houses will become tenantless with the final result of demoralization in tax collections by the city. What is wanted is evolution and not revolution.

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Resolution adopted by the United Real Estate Owners Association’s against the Factory Investigating Commission laws.
06/28/1914 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

Labor commissions, factory commissions and investigations, commissions on every subject in the Business Directory, have chilled capital; and when capital catches cold, labor freezes to death….Is the main cause of the lack of work hard to seek? Is it not that business has had too much interference from the state…too many everlasting commissions first prying into every man's affairs, and then telling him how to run them?

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

I don’t think the public is going to gain anything by forcing the small baker 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

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