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 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.

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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

[These changes in the fire code would lead to] the wiping out of industry in this state.

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A spokesman for the Associated Industries of New York. Only date available: 1913.
01/01/1913 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

We have laws that in a crisis we find are no laws and we have enforcement that when the hour of trial comes we find is no enforcement.

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Rabbi Stephen Wise, 1911
04/01/1911 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws

Many owners will be so financially embarrassed by the great expenditure made necessary thereby that great numbers of buildings would be forced into foreclosure or otherwise sacrificed.

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The Realty League inveighs against the Factory Investigating Commission fire regulations.
03/19/1913 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws