Remembering The Triangle Fire On Labor Day

Labor Day is a fitting time to remember the victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. The New York City factory fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist factory on March 25, 1911 taking the lives of 146 garment workers. Most of them were immigrant women who had participated in factory strikes just a few years before. They demanded better working conditions, but lost their lives behind a locked stairwell door, on a flimsy fire escape that collapsed or by jumping to their deaths to escape the flames. The aftermath resulted in massive changes to labor laws and built the career of the first female cabinet secretary, Frances Perkins.   For further reading I recommend Triangle: The Fire the Changed America by David Von Drehle.

The broken bodies of the victims who jumped

 

The victims in coffins

 

Inside the factory before it burned

 

The aftermath