Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

Coordinates: 40°43′48″N 73°59′43″W / 40.73000°N 73.99528°W / 40.73000; -73.99528
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Triangle Shirtwaist Fire)

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
DateMarch 25, 1911; 112 years ago (1911-03-25)
Time4:40 p.m. (Eastern Time)
LocationAsch Building, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Coordinates40°43′48″N 73°59′43″W / 40.73000°N 73.99528°W / 40.73000; -73.99528
Non-fatal injuries78

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, on Saturday, March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history.[1] The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and girls and 23 men[2] – who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, falling, or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Italian or Jewish immigrant women and girls aged 14 to 23;[3][4] of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was 43-year-old Providenza Panno, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and Rosaria "Sara" Maltese.[5]

The factory was located on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of the Asch Building, which had been built in 1901. Later renamed the "Brown Building", it still stands at 23–29 Washington Place near Washington Square Park, on the New York University (NYU) campus.[6] The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.[7]

Because the doors to the stairwells and exits were locked[1][8] – a common practice at the time to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to reduce theft[9] – many of the workers could not escape from the burning building and jumped from the high windows. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.


The Triangle Waist Company[10] factory occupied the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of the 10-story Asch Building on the northwest corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, just east of Washington Square Park, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. Under the ownership of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the factory produced women's blouses, known as "shirtwaists". The factory normally employed about 500 workers, mostly young Italian and Jewish immigrant women and girls, who worked nine hours a day on weekdays plus seven hours on Saturdays,[11] earning for their 52 hours of work between $7 and $12 a week,[9] the equivalent of $191 to $327 a week in 2018 currency, or $3.67 to $6.29 per hour.[12]


A horse-drawn fire engine on the way to the burning factory

At approximately 4:40 pm on Saturday, March 25, 1911, as the workday was ending, a fire flared up in a scrap bin under one of the cutter's tables at the northeast corner of the 8th floor.[13] The first fire alarm was sent at 4:45 pm by a passerby on Washington Place who saw smoke coming from the 8th floor.[14] Both owners of the factory were in attendance and had invited their children to the factory on that afternoon.[15]

The Fire Marshal concluded that the likely cause of the fire was the disposal of an unextinguished match or cigarette butt in a scrap bin containing two months' worth of accumulated cuttings.[16] Beneath the table in the wooden bin were hundreds of pounds of scraps left over from the several thousand shirtwaists that had been cut at that table. The scraps piled up from the last time the bin was emptied, coupled with the hanging fabrics that surrounded it; the steel trim was the only thing that was not highly flammable.[13]

Although smoking was banned in the factory, cutters were known to sneak cigarettes, exhaling the smoke through their lapels to avoid detection.[17] A New York Times article suggested that the fire had been started by the engines running the sewing machines. A series of articles in Collier's noted a pattern of arson among certain sectors of the garment industry whenever their particular product fell out of fashion or had excess inventory in order to collect insurance. The Insurance Monitor, a leading industry journal, observed that shirtwaists had recently fallen out of fashion, and that insurance for manufacturers of them was "fairly saturated with moral hazard". Although Blanck and Harris were known for having had four previous suspicious fires at their companies, arson was not suspected in this case.[15]

The building's south side, with windows marked X from which 50 women jumped
62 people jumped or fell from windows.
Bodies of the victims being placed in coffins on the sidewalk
People and horses draped in black walk in procession in memory of the victims.

A bookkeeper on the 8th floor was able to warn employees on the 10th floor via telephone, but there was no audible alarm and no way to contact staff on the 9th floor.[18] According to survivor Yetta Lubitz, the first warning of the fire on the 9th floor arrived at the same time as the fire itself.[19]

Although the floor had a number of exits, including two freight elevators, a fire escape, and stairways down to Greene Street and Washington Place, flames prevented workers from descending the Greene Street stairway, and the door to the Washington Place stairway was locked to prevent theft by the workers; the locked doors allowed managers to check the women's purses.[20] Various historians have also ascribed the exit doors being locked to management's wanting to keep out union organizers due to management's anti-union bias.[21][22][23] The foreman who held the stairway door key had already escaped by another route.[24] Dozens of employees escaped the fire by going up the Greene Street stairway to the roof. Other survivors were able to jam themselves into the elevators while they continued to operate.[25]

Within three minutes, the Greene Street stairway became unusable in both directions.[26] Terrified employees crowded onto the single exterior fire escape – which city officials had allowed Asch to erect instead of the required third staircase[13] – a flimsy and poorly anchored iron structure that may have been broken before the fire. It soon twisted and collapsed from the heat and overload, spilling about 20 victims nearly 100 feet (30 m) to their deaths on the concrete pavement below. The remainder waited until smoke and fire overcame them.

The fire department arrived quickly but was unable to stop the flames, as their ladders were only long enough to reach as high as the 7th floor.[1] The fallen bodies and falling victims also made it difficult for the fire department to approach the building.

Elevator operators Joseph Zito[27] and Gaspar Mortillaro saved many lives by traveling three times up to the 9th floor for passengers, but Mortillaro was eventually forced to give up when the rails of his elevator buckled under the heat. Some victims pried the elevator doors open and jumped into the empty shaft, trying to slide down the cables or to land on top of the car. The weight and impacts of these bodies warped the elevator car and made it impossible for Zito to make another attempt. William Gunn Shepard, a reporter at the tragedy, would say that "I learned a new sound that day, a sound more horrible than description can picture – the thud of a speeding living body on a stone sidewalk".[28]

A large crowd of bystanders gathered on the street, witnessing 62 people jumping or falling to their deaths from the burning building.[29] Louis Waldman, later a New York Socialist state assemblyman, described the scene years later:[30]

One Saturday afternoon in March of that year – March 25, to be precise – I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library. … It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire.

A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames.

Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle Waist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds – I among them – looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.

The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines.


Although early references of the death toll ranged from 141[31] to 148,[32] almost all modern references agree that 146 people died as a result of the fire: 123 women and girls and 23 men.[33][34][35][36][37][38][39] Most victims died of burns, asphyxiation, blunt impact injuries, or a combination of the three.[40]

The first person to jump was a man, and another man was seen kissing a young woman at the window before they both jumped to their deaths.[41]

Bodies of the victims were taken to Charities Pier (also called Misery Lane), located at 26th Street and the East River, for identification by friends and relatives.[42] Victims were interred in 16 different cemeteries.[33] 22 victims of the fire were buried by the Hebrew Free Burial Association[43] in a special section at Mount Richmond Cemetery. In some instances, their tombstones refer to the fire.[44] Six victims remained unidentified until Michael Hirsch, a historian, completed four years of researching newspaper articles and other sources for missing persons and was able to identify each of them by name.[33][34] Those six victims were buried together in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn. Originally interred elsewhere on the grounds, their remains now lie beneath a monument to the tragedy, a large marble slab featuring a kneeling woman.[33][45][46]


Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, owners of the Triangle Waist Company

The company's owners, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris – both Jewish immigrants[47] – who survived the fire by fleeing to the building's roof when it began, were indicted on charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter in mid-April; the pair's trial began on December 4, 1911.[48] Max Steuer, counsel for the defendants, managed to destroy the credibility of one of the survivors, Kate Alterman, by asking her to repeat her testimony a number of times, which she did without altering key phrases. Steuer argued to the jury that Alterman and possibly other witnesses had memorized their statements, and might even have been told what to say by the prosecutors. The prosecution charged that the owners knew the exit doors were locked at the time in question. The investigation found that the locks were intended to be locked during working hours based on the findings from the fire,[49] but the defense stressed that the prosecution failed to prove that the owners knew that.[citation needed] The jury acquitted the two men of first- and second-degree manslaughter, but they were found liable of wrongful death during a subsequent civil suit in 1913 in which plaintiffs were awarded compensation in the amount of $75 per deceased victim.[50][51][52] The insurance company paid Blanck and Harris about $60,000 more than the reported losses, or about $400 per casualty.[53]

Rose Schneiderman, a prominent socialist and union activist, gave a speech at the memorial meeting held in the Metropolitan Opera House on April 2, 1911, to an audience largely made up of the members of the Women's Trade Union League. She used the fire as an argument for factory workers to organize:[54]

Tombstone of fire victim Tillie Kupferschmidt at the Hebrew Free Burial Association's Mount Richmond Cemetery

I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting… We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers, and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable, the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

Public officials have only words of warning to us-warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law beats us back, when we rise, into the conditions that make life unbearable.

I can't talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement.[55]

Others in the community, and in particular in the ILGWU,[56] believed that political reform could help. In New York City, a Committee on Public Safety was formed, headed by eyewitness Frances Perkins[57] – who 22 years later would be appointed United States Secretary of Labor – to identify specific problems and lobby for new legislation, such as the bill to grant workers shorter hours in a work week, known as the "54-hour Bill". The committee's representatives in Albany obtained the backing of Tammany Hall's Al Smith, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, and Robert F. Wagner, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and this collaboration of machine politicians and reformers – also known as "do-gooders" or "goo-goos" – got results, especially since Tammany's chief, Charles F. Murphy, realized the goodwill to be had as champion of the downtrodden.[9]

A cartoon referring to the Triangle fire depicts a factory owner, his coat bedecked with the dollar signs, holding a door closed while workers shut inside struggle to escape amid flames and smoke.

The New York State Legislature then created the Factory Investigating Commission to "investigate factory conditions in this and other cities and to report remedial measures of legislation to prevent hazard or loss of life among employees through fire, unsanitary conditions, and occupational diseases."[58] The Commission was chaired by Wagner and co-chaired by Al Smith. They held a series of widely publicized investigations around the state, interviewing 222 witnesses and taking 3,500 pages of testimony. They hired field agents to do on-site inspections of factories. They started with the issue of fire safety and moved on to broader issues of the risks of injury in the factory environment. Their findings led to thirty-eight new laws regulating labor in New York state, and gave them a reputation as leading progressive reformers working on behalf of the working class. In the process, they changed Tammany's reputation from mere corruption to progressive endeavors to help the workers.[59][60] New York City's Fire Chief John Kenlon told the investigators that his department had identified more than 200 factories where conditions made a fire like that at the Triangle Factory possible.[61] The State Commissions's reports helped modernize the state's labor laws, making New York State "one of the most progressive states in terms of labor reform."[62][63] New laws mandated better building access and egress, fireproofing requirements, the availability of fire extinguishers, the installation of alarm systems and automatic sprinklers, and better eating and toilet facilities for workers, and limited the number of hours that women and children could work.[64] In the years from 1911 to 1913, 60 of the 64 new laws recommended by the Commission were legislated with the support of Governor William Sulzer.[9]

As a result of the fire, the American Society of Safety Professionals was founded in New York City on October 14, 1911.[65]

Harris and Blanck, after their acquittal, worked to rebuild their business, opening a factory at 16th Street and Fifth Avenue.[66] In the summer of 1913, Blanck was once again arrested for locking the door in the factory during working hours. He was fined $20, which was the minimum amount the fine could be.[67]

In 1918, the two partners closed the Triangle Shirtwaist company and went their separate ways. Harris resumed working as a tailor, while Blanck set up other companies with his brothers, the most prominent of which was Normandy Waist company, which earned a modest profit.[68]


The last living survivor of the fire was Rose Freedman, née Rosenfeld, who died in Beverly Hills, California, on February 15, 2001, at the age of 107. She was two days away from her 18th birthday at the time of the fire, which she survived by following the company's executives and being rescued from the roof of the building.[69] As a result of her experience, she became a lifelong supporter of unions.[70]

On September 16, 2019, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech in Washington Square Park supporting her presidential campaign, a few blocks from the location of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.[71] Sen. Warren recounted the story of the fire and its legacy before a crowd of supporters, likening activism for workers' rights following the 1911 fire to her own presidential platform.[72][73]

Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition[edit]


The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition is an alliance of more than 200 organizations and individuals formed in 2008 to encourage and coordinate nationwide activities commemorating the centennial of the fire[74] and to create a permanent public art memorial to honor its victims.[75][76] The founding partners included Workers United, the New York City Fire Museum, New York University (the current owner of the building), Workmen's Circle, Museum at Eldridge Street, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Gotham Center for New York City History, the Bowery Poetry Club and others. Members of the Coalition include arts organizations, schools, workers’ rights groups, labor unions, human rights and women's rights groups, ethnic organizations, historical preservation societies, activists, and scholars, as well as families of the victims and survivors.[77]

The Coalition grew out of a public art project called "Chalk" created by New York City filmmaker Ruth Sergel.[78] Every year beginning in 2004, Sergel and volunteer artists went across New York City on the anniversary of the fire to inscribe in chalk the names, ages, and causes of death of the victims in front of their former homes, often including drawings of flowers, tombstones or a triangle.[74][79]


The commemoration drew thousands of people, many holding aloft "146 Shirtwaist-Kites" conceived by artist Annie Lanzillotto and designed and fabricated by members of The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, with the names of the victims on sashes, as they listened to speakers.

From July 2009 through the weeks leading up to the 100th anniversary, the Coalition served as a clearinghouse to organize some 200 activities as varied as academic conferences, films, theater performances, art shows, concerts, readings, awareness campaigns, walking tours, and parades that were held in and around New York City, and in cities across the nation, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston and Washington, D.C.[74]

Hilda Solis, the American Secretary of Labor, seen on the overhead screen, speaking at the Centennial Memorial; the Brown (Asch) Building is on the far right.

The ceremony, which was held in front of the building where the fire took place, was preceded by a march through Greenwich Village by thousands of people, some carrying shirtwaists – women's blouses – on poles, with sashes commemorating the names of those who died in the fire. Speakers included the United States Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the actor Danny Glover, and Suzanne Pred Bass, the grandniece of Rosie Weiner, a young woman killed in the blaze. Most of the speakers that day called for the strengthening of workers’ rights and organized labor.[80][81]

At 4:45 pm EST, the moment the first fire alarm was sounded in 1911, hundreds of bells rang out in cities and towns across the nation. For this commemorative act, the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition organized hundreds of churches, schools, fire houses, and private individuals in the New York City region and across the nation. The Coalition maintains on its website a national map denoting each of the bells that rang that afternoon.[82]

Permanent memorial[edit]

The Coalition has launched an effort to create a permanent public art memorial for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire at the site of the 1911 fire in lower Manhattan.

In 2011, the Coalition established that the goal of the permanent memorial would be:[citation needed]

  • To honor the memory of those who died from the fire;
  • To affirm the dignity of all workers;
  • To value women's work;
  • To remember the movement for worker safety and social justice stirred by this tragedy;
  • To inspire future generations of activists

In 2012, the Coalition signed an agreement with NYU that granted the organization permission to install a memorial on the Brown Building and, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, indicated what elements of the building could be incorporated into the design. Architectural designer Ernesto Martinez directed an international competition for the design. A jury of representatives from fashion, public art, design, architecture, and labor history reviewed 170 entries from more than 30 countries and selected a spare yet powerful design by Richard Joon Yoo and Uri Wegman.[83] On December 22, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $1.5 million from state economic development funds would be earmarked to build the Triangle Fire Memorial.[84]

The design of the memorial consists of a stainless-steel ribbon that cascades vertically down the corner of the Brown Building (23-29 Washington Place) from the window-sill of the 9th floor, marking the location where most of the victims of the Triangle fire died or jumped to their death. The steel ribbon is etched with patterns and textures from a 300-foot long cloth ribbon, formed from individual pieces of fabric, donated and sewed together by hundreds of volunteers. At the cornice above the first floor, the steel ribbon splits into horizontal bands that run perpendicularly along the east and south facades of the building, floating twelve feet above the sidewalk. The names of all 146 workers who died will be laser-cut through these panels, allowing light to pass through. At street level, an angled panel made of stone glass at hip height will reflect the names overhead. Testimonies from survivors and witnesses will be inscribed in this reflective panel juxtaposing the names and history.[85]

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Memorial, Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens

Mt. Zion Cemetery Memorial[edit]

A memorial "of the Ladies Waist and Dress Makers Union Local No 25" was erected in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Maspeth, Queens (40°44'2" N 73°54'11" W). It is a series of stone columns holding a large cross beam. Much of the writing is no longer legible due to erosion.

In popular culture[edit]

Films and television

  • The Crime of Carelessness (1912), 14-minute Thomas A. Edison, Inc., short inspired by the Triangle Factory fire, directed by James Oppenheim
  • With These Hands (1950), directed by Jack Arnold
  • The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal (1979), directed by Mel Stuart, produced by Mel Brez and Ethel Brez
  • American Pop (1981), an adult animated musical drama film written by Ronni Kern and directed by Ralph Bakshi features a scene taking place in the fire.
  • Those Who Know Don't Tell: The Ongoing Battle for Workers' Health (1990), produced by Abby Ginzberg, narrated by Studs Terkel[86]
  • Episode 4 of Ric Burns' 1999 PBS series New York: A Documentary Film, "The Power and the People (1898–1918)", extensively covered the fire.
  • The Living Century: Three Miracles (2001) premiered on PBS, focusing on the life of 107-year-old Rose Freedman (died 2001), who became the last living survivor of the fire.[70]
  • American Experience: Triangle Fire (2011), documentary produced and directed by Jamila Wignot, narrated by Michael Murphy[87]
  • Triangle: Remembering the Fire (2011) premiered on HBO on March 21, four days short of the 100th anniversary.[88]
  • In season 3 episode 7 of SyFy Channel TV show Warehouse 13 (2011), characters Claudia Donovan and Steve Jinks recover an artifact from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a doorknob which burns people.[89]
  • In the 2015 season 1 episode 4 of The CW TV sitcom Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, characters Rebecca Bunch and Greg Serrano are on an awkward first date, but then they start to bond after their shared interest in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, with Greg calling it his "favorite fire". This foreshadows Rebecca's past as an arsonist.
  • The Fire of a Movement (2019) Episode of PBS series The Future of America's Past – " ... We visit the building and learn how public outcry inspired workplace safety laws that revolutionized industrial work nationwide. Descendants and activists show us how that work reverberates today."[90]


Theatre and dance

  • Naomi Wallace's 1996 play Slaughter City includes a character, the Textile Worker, that was killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and the play itself was inspired by several labor events throughout the 20th century, including the fire.[99][100]
  • In Ain Gordon's play Birdseed Bundles (2000), the Triangle fire is a major dramatic engine of the story.[101]
  • The musical Rags – book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and music by Charles Strouse – incorporates the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in the second act.[102]
  • In March 2012, the modern dance concert One Hundred Forty-Six by Denise J. Murphy explored the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire through movement, text, video, photography and original music.[103]
  • Scintille ("Sparks") is a 2012 Italian political play by Laura Sicignano which centers on the fire and the circumstances surrounding it.[104]
  • Triangle, a stage musical with music by Curtis Moore, lyrics by Thomas Mizer, and book by Thomas Mizer, Curtis Moore and Joshua Scher, deals with the Shirtwaist Factory fire on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy through the eyes of a scientist whose laboratory is located in the Asch Building. The play was premiered at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, California in July 2015.[105]
  • In their 2018 production of A Bintel Brief, a play chronicling the trials of Jewish immigrants to America at the turn of the 20th century, The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre in Montreal, Canada, translated the songs "The Ballad of the Triangle Fire" and Bread and Roses into Yiddish for the first time. The world premiere of these new translations was released as a video in March 2020 to commemorate the anniversary of the fire.


  • Sholem Asch's 1946 novel East River (ISBN 978-1-4326-1999-2) tells the story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire through the eyes of an Irish girl who was working at the factory at a time of the fire.
  • The Triangle Fire by Leon Stein, 1963 (ISBN 978-0-8014-7707-2)
  • Fragments from the Fire: The Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire of March 25, 1911, a book of poetry by Chris Llewellyn, 1987 (ISBN 978-0-14-058586-5).
  • Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle, 2003 (ISBN 978-0-8021-4151-4)
  • Deborah Hopkinson's 2004 historical novel for young adults, Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto (ISBN 978-0-439-22161-0).
  • Mary Jane Auch's 2004 historical novel for young adults, Ashes of Roses (ISBN 978-0-312-53580-3) tells the tale of Margaret Rose Nolan, a young girl who works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at the time of the fire, along with her sister and her friends.
  • Triangle, a 2006 novel by Katharine Weber (ISBN 978-0-374-28142-7), tells the story of the last living survivor of the fire, whose story hides the truth of her experience on March 25, 1911, raising the questions of who owns history and whose stories prevail.
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix's 2007 historical novel for young adults, Uprising (ISBN 978-1-4169-1171-5), deals with immigration, women's rights, and the labor movement, with the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire as a central element.
  • "Heaven Is Full of Windows", a 2009 short story by Steve Stern, dramatizes the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire from the perspective of a Polish Jewish immigrant girl.[106]
  • "Afterlife", a 2013 short story by Stephen King, centers around Isaac Harris in Purgatory talking about the fire.[107]
  • Helene Wecker's 2021 novel The Hidden Palace (ISBN 978-0-06-246874-1) is a historical fantasy that centers around a golem and a jinni living in New York in the early 20th century. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire occurs as an event that affects multiple characters in the novel.
  • Talking to the Girls: Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire edited by Edvige Giunta and Mary Anne Trasciatti, 2022 (ISBN 978-1-61332-150-8).
  • Esther Friesner's Threads and Flames (ISBN 978-0-670-01245-9) deals with a young girl, named Raisa, who works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at the time of the fire.
  • The comic book The Goon issue No. 37 tells the story of a similar fire at a girdle factory that takes the lives of 142 women who worked there. After the fire, the surviving women attempt to unionize and the Goon comes to their aid after union busters try to force them back to work. Author Eric Powell specifically cites the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire as an inspiration for the story.[citation needed]
  • Vivian Schurfranz's novel Rachel (ISBN 978-0-590-40394-8), from the Sunfire series of historical romances for young adults, is about a Polish Jewish immigrant girl who works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at the time of the fire.
  • Robert Pinsky's poem Shirt describes the fire.[108]
  • "Mayn Rue Platz" (My Resting Place), a poem written by former Triangle employee Morris Rosenfeld, has been set to music, in Yiddish and English, by many artists, including Geoff Berner[109] and June Tabor.[110]
  • In Alice Hoffman's novel The Museum of Extraordinary Things (ISBN 978-1-4516-9357-7), the fire is one of the main elements of the plot.
  • In a section of Edward Rutherfurd's novel New York (ISBN 978-0-385-52138-3), a protagonist's sister, from an Italian immigrant family, dies after jumping from a window to escape the fire.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire". OSHA. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Sweatshop Tragedy Ignites Fight for Workplace Safety". APWU. February 29, 2004. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  3. ^ Kosak, Hadassa. "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Stacy, Greg (March 24, 2011). "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Marks a Sad Centennial". Online Journal. Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Von Drehle, David. "List of Victims". History on the Net. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "23 Washington Place, Manhattan" New York City Geographic Information System map
  7. ^ Gale Harris (March 25, 2003). "Brown Building (formerly Asch Building) Designation Report" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Lange 2008, p. 58
  9. ^ a b c d Lifflander, Matthew L. "The Tragedy That Changed New York" New York Archives (Summer 2011)
  10. ^ "Triangle Waist Company". Sandbox & Co. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  11. ^ von Drehle, p. 105
  12. ^ CPI Inflation Calculator United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
  13. ^ a b c von Drehle, p. 118
  14. ^ Stein, p. 224
  15. ^ a b von Drehle, pp. 162–63
  16. ^ Stein p. 33
  17. ^ von Drehle, p. 119
  18. ^ von Drehle, p. 131
  19. ^ von Drehle, pp. 141–42
  20. ^ Lange, Brenda. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Infobase Publishing, 2008, p. 58
  21. ^ "The Triangle Fire of 1911, And The Lessons For Wisconsin and the Nation Today". The New Republic. March 12, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  22. ^ Kosak, Hadassa (December 31, 1999). "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  23. ^ Marrin, Albert (2011). Flesh and blood so cheap : the Triangle fire and its legacy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-86889-4. OCLC 635461169.
  24. ^ PBS: "Introduction: Triangle Fire" Archived March 20, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 1, 2011
  25. ^ Hall, Angus (ed.) (1987) Crimes of Horror Reed Editions. p. 23 ISBN 1-85051-170-5
  26. ^ von Drehle, pp. 143–44
  27. ^ von Drehle, p. 157
  28. ^ von Drehle, p. 126
  29. ^ Shepherd, William G. (March 27, 1911). "Eyewitness at the Triangle". Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  30. ^ Waldman, Louis (1944). Labor Lawyer. New York: E.P. Dutton. pp. 32–33. ASIN B0000D5IYA.
  31. ^ Staff (March 26, 1911) "141 Men and Girls Die in Waist Factory Fire" The New York Times. Accessed December 20, 2009.
  32. ^ "New York Fire Kills 148: Girl Victims Leap to Death from Factory" (reprint). Chicago Sunday Tribune. March 26, 1911. p. 1. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  33. ^ a b c d Berger, Joseph (February 20, 2011). "100 Years Later, the Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire Is Complete". The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
  34. ^ a b von Drehle, passim
  35. ^ Staff (March 26, 1997) "In Memoriam: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire" The New York Times
  36. ^ "The Triangle Factory Fire". The Kheel Center, Cornell University.
  37. ^ "98th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire". Archived March 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine New York City Fire Department.
  38. ^ "Labor Department Remembers 95th Anniversary of Sweatshop Fire". Archived March 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine U.S. Department of Labor.
  39. ^ Stein, passim
  40. ^ von Drehle, pp. 271–83
  41. ^ von Drehle, pp. 155–57
  42. ^ Stein, p. 100
  43. ^ Dwyer, Jim (March 31, 2009). "On Staten Island, A Jewish Cemetery Where All Are Equals in Death". The New York Times.
  44. ^ "HFBA Timeline". Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  45. ^ "Evergreens Cemetery". Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2009. Evergreens Cemetery reports that there were originally eight burials, one male and six females, along with some unidentified remains. One of the female victims was later identified and her body removed to another cemetery. Other accounts do not mention the unidentified remains at all. Rose Freedman was the last living survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. (1893–2001)
  46. ^ Swanson, Lillian (April 8, 2011). "A Grave Marker Unveiled for Six Triangle Fire Victims Who Had Been Unknowns". The Jewish Daily Forward.
  47. ^ Blakemore, Erin (March 25, 2020) "How a tragedy transformed protections for American workers" National Geographic
  48. ^ Stein p. 158
  49. ^ von Drehle, p. 220
  50. ^ ""Triangle Owners Acquitted By Jury"" (PDF).
  51. ^ Drehl, David Von (December 20, 2018) "No, history was not unfair to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory owners" The Washington Post
  52. ^ Linder, Douglas O. (2021) "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Trial: An Account" Famous Trials
  53. ^ "Shirtwaist Kings " PBS
  54. ^ Greenwald, Richard (2002). "The Burning Building at 23 Washington Place': The Triangle Fire, Workers and Reformers in Progressive Era New York". New York History. 83 (1): 55–91. JSTOR 23183517.
  55. ^ Schneiderman, Rose. "We Have Found You Wanting" (reprint).
  56. ^ Jones, Gerard (2005). Men of Tomorrow. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-03657-8.
  57. ^ Downey, Kirsten. The Woman Behind the New Deal. Nan A. Talese, 2009 pp. 33–36. ISBN 9780385513654.
  58. ^ Staff (October 11, 1911) "Seek Way to Lessen Factory Dangers", The New York Times
  59. ^ "Robert Ferdinand Wagner" in Dictionary of American Biography (1977)
  60. ^ Slayton, Robert A. (2001) Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-86302-2
  61. ^ Staff (October 14, 1911) "Factory Firetraps Found by Hundreds" The New York Times
  62. ^ Greenwald, Richard A. (2005) The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace, and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York Philadelphia: Temple University Press, p. 128
  63. ^ Staff (March 19, 2011) "Triangle Shirtwaist: The birth of the New Deal" The Economist p. 39.
  64. ^ "At the State Archives: Online Exhibit Remembers the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire" New York Archives (Summer 2011)
  65. ^ American Society of Safety Engineers (2001). "A Brief History of the American Society of Safety Engineers: A Century of Safety". Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  66. ^ "Shirtwaist Kings". Encyclopedia of Things. PBS. 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  67. ^ Hoenig, John M. (April 2005). "The Triangle Fire of 1911" (PDF). History Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 18, 2006. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  68. ^ Feldman, Amy (November 22, 2019). "Why The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Still Burns Hot Today". Forbes. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  69. ^ "Rose Freedman & the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire". Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  70. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (February 17, 2001). "Rose Freedman, Last Survivor of Triangle Fire, Dies at 107". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  71. ^ Staff (September 16, 2019) "Senator Elizabeth Warren Speech in Washington Square Park". C-SPAN. Last visited September 22, 2019.
  72. ^ Greenberg, Sally and Thompson, Alex (September 16, 2019) "Warren, in NYC rally, casts campaign as successor to other women-led movements". Politico
  73. ^ Krieg, Gregory (September 16, 2019) "Warren promises to take populism to the White House in New York City speech" CNN
  74. ^ a b c Greenhouse, Steven. "City Room:In a Tragedy, a Mission to Remember" New York Times (March 19, 2011)
  75. ^ Jannuzzi, Kristine. "NYU Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire". NYU Alumni Connect (January 2011) on the New York University website
  76. ^ Solis, Hilda L. "What the Triangle Shirtwaist fire means for workers now" Washington Post (March 18. 2011)
  77. ^ "Participating Organizations" Archived March 5, 2021, at the Wayback Machine Remember the Triangle Fire Colition
  78. ^ "Chalk website". March 25, 1911. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  79. ^ Molyneux, Michael (April 3, 2005) "City Lore: Memorials in Chalk" The New York Times
  80. ^ Fouhy, Beth. "NYC marks 100th anniversary of Triangle fire" Associated Press (March 25, 2011) on NBC News
  81. ^ Safronova, Valeriya and Hirshon, Nicholas. "Remembering tragic 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist inferno, marchers flood Greenwich Village streets" New York Daily News (March 26, 2011)
  82. ^ "Bells" Archived April 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine on the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition website
  83. ^ Transciatti, Mary Anne (March 24, 2022). "The Odyssey of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial". Labor and Working-Class History Association/Duke University. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  84. ^ Greenhouse, Steven. (December 22, 2015)"$1.5 Million State Grant to Pay for Triangle Fire Memorial" The New York Times
  85. ^ Trasciatti, Mary Anne.
  86. ^ "Those Who Know Don't Tell". Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  87. ^ "Triangle Fire". PBS. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  88. ^ Hale, Mike (February 27, 2011). "Triangle Fire Remembered on PBS and HBO". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  89. ^ Hardbarger, Bryan (August 23, 2011). "'Warehouse 13: Past Imperfect' – Recap". Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  90. ^ Staff (August 8, 2019) "The Fire of a Movement" PBS
  91. ^ "Meyerowitz, David". Milken Archive of Jewish Music. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  92. ^ "Yiddish Penny Songs: Dos lid fun nokh dem fayer fun di korbones fun 33 Washington Place".
  93. ^ "Thanks for the Ether – Rasputina". Allmusic.
  94. ^ Over the Border at AllMusic
  95. ^ Wirewalkers and Assassins at AllMusic
  96. ^ "Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirt Waist Fire". Beyond the Pale. WBAI. March 30, 2011. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  97. ^ "Julia Wolfe: Fire in my mouth (2018)". G. Schirmer, Inc. January 25, 2019. Archived from the original on January 26, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  98. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (January 25, 2019). "Review: With Protest and Fire, an Oratorio Mourns a Tragedy". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  99. ^ Reid, Kerry (May 8, 2011). "Defiance in 'Ismene', 'Slaughter City'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  100. ^ Donaldson, Erin (March 15, 2010). "Dark Humor in 'Slaughter City' Emphasizes Industry Ills". The Daily Californian. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  101. ^ Lefkowitz, David. "OOB's DTW Runs Out of Birdseed, April 2" Archived October 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  102. ^ Geselowitz., Gabriela (September 1, 2017). "Get Ready for the Revival of a Musical You've Probably Never Heard of From the Author of 'Fiddler'". Tablet. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  103. ^ "One Hundred Forty-Six: A Moving Memorial to the Victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire" on the Remember the Triangle Fire website
  104. ^ "Sparks" Archived June 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Theatro Cargo Stagione 2015/16 website
  105. ^ "Triangle". Curtis Moore. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  106. ^ Stern, Steve (November 5, 2008). ""Heaven Is Full of Windows"". Narrative Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  107. ^ Stephen King Premieres "Afterlife" at UMass Lowell. University of Massachusetts Lowell. December 7, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  108. ^ Scrutchfield, Lori; Nelson, Cary. "On "Shirt"". Modern American Poetry. Southern Illinois University. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  109. ^ "Victory Party, by Geoff Berner". Bandcamp. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  110. ^ Brocken, Michael (January 28, 2013). The British Folk Revival: 1944–2002. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 276. ISBN 978-1-4094-9360-0.


Further reading

External links[edit]


Contemporaneous accounts



Memorials and centennial