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Triangle Fire Cornell Ilr Essay

Note to researchers: This exhibit presents mainly primary documents, with a selection of secondary documents. If you are new to research of this type, please review the difference between primary sources and secondary sources under Tips for Students.

Below you will find resources as they relate to specific pages in the Story of the Fire section.


Sweat Shops and Strikes before 1911

Testimonials

Selections from Leon Stein's Out of the Sweatshops

The Kheel Center would like to thank Mrs. Miriam Stein and Barbara Ismail for granting permission to use selections from the late Leon Stein's book.

Letters

Songs and Plays


Fire!

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

  • New York Times, March 26, 1911, p. 1. "141 Men and Girls Die in Waist Factory Fire; Trapped High Up in Washington Place Building; Street Strewn with Bodies; Piles of Dead Inside."
  • Chicago Sunday Tribune, March 26, 1911, p. 1. "New York Fire Kills 148."
  • New York Times, March 26, 1911, p. 4. "Stories of Survivors. And Witnesses and Rescuers Outside Tell What They Saw."
  • New York Times, March 26, 1911, p. 4. "Lived Amid Flames, But Nearly Drowns."
  • New York Times, March 26, 1911, p. 4. "Crowd At Police Station; Mercer Street is Turned Into an Emergency Hospital"
  • New York Times, March 26, 1911, p. 4. "Death List Shows Few Identified"
  • Chicago Sunday Tribune, March 28, 1911, p. 2. "Thrilling Incidents in Gotham Holocaust That Wiped Out One Hundred and Fifty Lives."
  • Ladies' Garment Worker, April 1911. [notice of the fire]

Testimonials

Selections from Triangle Fire, by Leon Stein

Selections from Out of the Sweatshop, by Leon Stein

The Kheel Center would like to thank Mrs. Miriam Stein and Barbara Ismail for granting permission to use selections from the late Leon Stein's book.

Letters

Songs and Plays


Mourning and Protest

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

  • American Federationist, May 1911, "Hostile Employers See Yourselves as Others Know You"
  • Ladies' Garment Worker, September 1911, "Echoes from the Triangle Fire"
  • Ladies' Garment Worker, Oct. 1911, "Agitation Among the Ladies' Waistmakers, Local 25."
  • Outlook, April 15, 1911. "The Factory Girl's Danger."

Songs and Plays

The Kheel Center would like to thank Manny Rubenstein for granting permission to use these documents ©2003.

Testimonials

Selections from Out of the Sweatshop, by Leon Stein

Selections from Triangle Fire, by Leon Stein

The Kheel Center would like to thank Mrs. Miriam Stein and Barbara Ismail for granting permission to use selections from the late Leon Stein's book.


Relief Work

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

Reports


Investigation and Trial

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

  • New York Times, March 28, 1911, p. 1. "Blame Shifted on All Sides for Fire Horror."
  • Outlook, April 22, 1911, "Indictments in the Asch Fire Case"
  • Outlook, April 29, 1911,"Placing the Responsibility"
  • Literary Digest, January 1912, "147 Dead, Nobody Guilty"

Lectures

Reports

  • Preliminary Report of the Factory Investigating Commission, 1912
  • New York (State) Factory Investigating Commission (excerpts)
  • Report to the Legislature of the State of New York (pp. 13-20)
  • The Fire Hazard in Factory Buildings (pp. 28-34)
  • Recommendations of the Commission (pp. 38-47)
  • Results of the Data (pp. 128-130)
  • Notes on Some Trades in Which Women are Employees, "Clothing (Women's waists)"( pp. 277-278)
  • Testimony of Edward F. Croker, Fire Chief (pp.14-21, 35-36, 39-40)
    the Triangle Fire, the Asch Building, and who was responsible
  • Testimony of G.I. Harmon, Inspector, Labor Department (p. 242-249)
    inspection of Asch Building prior to the Triangle Fire
  • Testimony of William L. Beers, Fire Marshal, City of New York (p. 571, 580-82)
    interrogated about the Asch Building
  • Fourth Report of the Factory Investigating Commission, 1915.
    Includes summary of work of the commission and laws passed as a result of the commission's work.

"The worst day I ever saw"

One hundred years ago on March 25, fire spread through the cramped Triangle Waist Company garment factory on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the Asch Building in lower Manhattan. Workers in the factory, many of whom were young women recently arrived from Europe, had little time or opportunity to escape. The rapidly spreading fire killed 146 workers.

The building had only one fire escape, which collapsed during the rescue effort. Long tables and bulky machines trapped many of the victims. Panicked workers were crushed as they struggled with doors that were locked by managers to prevent theft, or doors that opened the wrong way. Only a few buckets of water were on hand to douse the flames. Outside, firefighters' ladders were too short to reach the top floors and ineffective safety nets ripped like paper. Read more...

Information from Triangle Fire Remembrance Week

Learn More

These resources provide detailed information on the events of March 25, 1911, working conditions at the beginning of the 20th century, and the impacts of the tragedy on workplace safety and health:

New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health booklet "Don’t Mourn – Organize" (See page 7: Dr. David Michaels "We must. We will.")

"Triangle Fire" Documentary from American Experience on PBS.

The Kheel Center at Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations - This site houses an extensive archive of information on the fire. Primary documents include newspaper accounts, interviews with survivors, and a partial transcript of the trial of the factory's owners.

American Society of Safety Engineers - ASSE, America's oldest professional safety organization, was founded six months after the Triangle fire. Its "Century of Safety" site provides information on the fire and the events leading to the establishment of the society.

Triangle Fire Open Archive at the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition An online collection of documents, photographs, and artworks submitted by the public that serves as "a living repository for stories, images and objects about the Triangle fire's history, context, and impact on labor, immigrant, and women's rights and everyday life today."


Poster for the official Workers United/ SEIU
centennial commemoration on March 25, 2011

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