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Shirtwaist Factory

Shirtwaist Factory
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Site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911. I've blogged a lttle more information here. (reprinted below):

"The Brown building, on the intersection of Washington and Greene Streets, near Washington Square in Greenwich Village, is nowadays part of NYU, which uses it for office space and classrooms. It looks no different than many of the buildings surrounding it , but was once the scene of great horror.

In 1911 it was known as the Asch building, and was home to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. On the 25th March of that year, a fire started in the factory, on the eighth floor, and was quickly spread by the flammable materials used in clothing manufacture.

With few exits, and those that existed blocked and locked, a large number of the almost exclusively female workforce were trapped. Many chose to jump out the windows rather than face the flames. Ultimately 146 Women died. The fire was witnessed by a large number of passersby, and the newspapers ran gruesome pictures of the dead.

The public outcry at the disaster and the working conditions which led to the deaths of so many became the impetus for the successful efforts of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union to organize in the garment district.

There is a small plaque on the building commemorating the fire and the building's status as a landmark, but thousands of people must pass the building everyday without being aware of its history.

Facts and figures from the The Encyclopedia of New York City. Edited by Kenneth T. Jackson. Yale University Press. 1995."

Date: 2005-01-15 23:13:55

nyc newyork horror history triangleshirtwaistfactory nyu greenwichvillage blog geotagged geo:lat=40.729935 geo:lon=-73.995368

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Here's a editorial cartoon from the time of the fire.

editorial cartoon
niznoz 2005-01-15 23:43:25
what a sad and gruesome day. but at least the international ladies’ garment workers’ union was able to organize in the garmet district.

and what a striking image that editorial cartoon is.

thanks for telling me about the shirtwaist factory fire, niznoz. i'd never heard about what had happened.
Rakka 2005-01-16 01:40:34

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