The conditions of the factory were typical of the time. Flammable textiles were stored throughout the factory, scraps of fabric littered the floors, patterns and designs on sheets of tissue paper hung above the tables, the men who worked as cutters sometimes smoked, illumination was provided by open gas lighting, and there were a few buckets of water to extinguish fires. The jury acquitted the owners. However, they lost a subsequent civil suit in 1913, and plaintiffs won compensation in the amount of $75 per deceased victim.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
NYC, 19111. What story do these photos tell?http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/
POOR WORKING CONDITIONS. .. dangerously broken stairways . .. windows few and so dirty.. .. Thewooden floors that were swept once a year. . .. Hardly any other lightbut the gas jets burning by day and by night. . . the filthy, malodorouslavatory in the dark hall. No fresh drinking water.. . . mice and roaches....…During the winter months . . . how we suffered from the cold. In thesummer we suffered from the heat. . ..…..In these disease-breeding holes we, the youngsters together withthe men and women toiled from seventy and eighty hours a week!Saturdays and Sundays included!... A sign would go up on Saturdayafternoon: "If you dont come in on Sunday, you need not come in onMonday." ... Childrens dreams of a day off shattered. We wept, forafter all, we were only children…..
STRIKE of 1909 • 3,000 expected, 20,000 came • ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Union) grew • Small gains - wage raise "Mask of Anarchy." ... "Rise like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth, like dew. Which in sleep had fallen on you- Ye are many, they are few!"AFTERMATH • 146 Triangle workers, mostly women, were burned or crushed to death •Owners acquitted, plaintiffs won a civil suit in 1913 - $75/ victim • Worst workplace disaster in NYC until 9/11