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 would consider it a grave injustice to ourselves as well as to the bakers and the public at large if the bakers in our city were unfairly discriminated against in their struggle for existence either by conditions such as they could not reasonably hope to contend against, or by making it possible for bakers of other localities to determine their business here in their home market by more favorable terms. This, we believe, will be the effect of section 116 of the proposed law, which prohibits the establishment of future cellar bakeries.

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J.C. Bogart, New York Flour Club (they represented over 80 percent of firms in the flour business). Only date available: 1913.
01/01/1913 | 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

The Real Estate Board of New York is informed that thousands of factories are migrating to New Jersey and Connecticut in order to be freed from the oppressive laws of New York State.

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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

In Utica no one ever bothers the factories about these things. Why are we bothered this way? No, we do not keep the names and addresses of our homeworkers. Women wanting such work come in and get it and that’s all there is about it.

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The manager of a felt shoe factory
01/01/1913 | Full Details | Law(s): Triangle Factory Laws