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Essay On The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

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The Industrial Revolution was not only marked by great triumphs in the world of production and a large economic boom, but it was also marked by tragedies such as poor working conditions and large fires. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was one such tragedy. It was a raging conflagration that claimed many lives. It had a large effect on America, and to this day it is remembered as a horrible accident that could have and should have been prevented. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was the most devastating yet important event of the 20th century, due to the numerous deaths and impact on the improvement of working conditions, especially those concerning safety.
On March 25, 1911, between 4:30 and 4:45 P.M., the Triangle factory began to go up in flames. Because of the fire, many lives were lost due to suffocation from the fire, or death by jumping as many people chose to jump rather than burn. Although the fire was under control by 5:15 P.M., out of the 500 people employed by the Triangle company 146 died and 71 were injured. The fire took place in the Asch Building, now known as the Brown Building, located at 23-29 Washington Place in Manhattan, New York. It roared throughout the top three floors- the eighth, ninth, and tenth. It is considered both a National Historic monument and a New York City monument. Rose Cohen, a survivor, recalled, “‘I couldn’t stop crying for hours, for days… I used to dream I was falling from a window, screaming. I remember I would holler to my mother in the dark, waking everybody up, “Mama! I just jumped out of a window!” Then I would start crying and I couldn’t stop’” (Marrin, 124). The fire took many lives, and scarred others for life.
No one knows quite what happened to start the fiery infe...

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...100 years ago, the catastrophe has stayed with many, in heart, mind, and soul.
The Triangle Fire was one of the most critical disasters of the 20th century as it kick started the reform of working conditions, at the sacrifice of many lives. The Triangle Fire was New York’s worst work-related calamity for 90 years. It was and is not only a symbol of misfortune, but a catalyst for reform. It awoke the country to the many dangers of factory work. What happened was a disaster that could have been avoided, but if it was, another disaster might have taken its place. It probably wouldn’t have had the same impact on America, whether it was good or bad. Improvement and safety are good, but what cost would America have had to pay instead? Although the Industrial Revolution was a time of prosperity, the Triangle Fire reminds us that ignorance can be bliss-- until it’s too late.
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