Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

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Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Near closing time on Saturday afternoon, March 25, 1911, in New York City a fire broke out on the top floors of the Asch Building in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. One of the worst tragedies in American history it was know as the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. It was a disaster that took the lives of 146 young immigrant workers. A fire that broke out in a cramped sweatshop that trapped many inside and killed 146 people.
This tragedy pointed out the negatives of sweatshop conditions of the industrialization era. It emphasized the worst part of its times the low wages, long hours, and unsanitary working conditions were what symbolized what sweatshops were all about. These conditions were appalling, and no person should ever be made to work in these conditions.
Before this tragedy occurred the suffering of the workers was very evident. Take for instance this first hand account by Sadie Frowne.
“My name is Sadie Frowne. I work in Allen Street (Manhattan) in what they call a sweatshop. I am new at the work and the foreman scolds me a great deal. I get up at half-past five o’clock every morning and make myself a cup of coffee on the oil stove. I eat a bit of bread and perhaps some fruit and then go to work. Often I get there soon after six o’clock so as to be in good time, though the factory does not open till seven.
At seven o’clock we all sit down to our machines and the boss brings to each one the pile of work that he or she is to finish during the day—what they call in English their “stint.” This pile is put down beside the machine and as soon as a garment is done it is laid on the other side of the machine. Sometimes the work is not all finished by six o’clock, and then the one who is behind must work overtime.
The machines go like mad all day because the faster you work the more money you get. Sometimes in my haste I get my finger caught and the needle goes right

through it. It goes so quick, though, that it does not hurt much. I bind the finger up with a piece of cotton and go on working. We all have accidents like that.
All the time we are working the boss walks around examining the finished garments and making us do them over again if they are not just right. So we have to be careful as well as swift. But I am getting so good at the work that within a year I will be making $7 a w...

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...being held accountable, the city officials themselves were also held accountable because of improper safety regulations. Showing that the city itself should be at fault for not enforcing safety regulations for such things as fire escapes, that were not in working order. These unprecedented circumstances just lay down the blueprint for what is now the correct way to set regulations for industrial factory conditions.
With these commissions in place, tougher legislation, laws, ordinances, and precedents that will be in place working together to rid the world of these horrible sweatshops. As well as the devastating circumstances they can bring in such occurrences as fires or other natural disaster events. Even though almost ninety years later sweatshops still exist. These sweatshops at the present day are almost unheard of here in America, but continue to be in foreign third world countries. As horrible as it is to

say the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire turned out to be a very helpful life changing turn around for hundreds of thousands of people, it turns out that many positives have come out of it. Its just too bad that such a tragedy had to come about to make such significant changes.
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