Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Remembered

Bodies from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 (Photo: Library of Congress)

Bodies from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Friday March 25 marks the centennial of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire—a catastrophic event that killed 146 young immigrant workers in Manhattan. The garment workers, mostly Jewish and Italian women aged 16-23, burned inside the building at 29 Washington Place or jumped to their deaths, because the factory doors were locked and fire department ladders only reached to the sixth floor. This devastating incident led to the creation of workplace safety regulations, galvanized the union movement and became an iconic moment in New York history that continues to symbolize the need for immigrant and workers’ rights.

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911 (Photo: Library of Congress)

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Crowds outside the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Photo: Library of Congress)

Crowds outside the morgue after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Firemen at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Photo: Library of Congress)

Firemen at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Horse-drawn fire department workers on the way to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (Photo: Library of Congress)

Horse-drawn fire department workers on the way to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. (Photo: Library of Congress)

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