Triangle Waist Company

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Triangle Waist Company

Triangle Waist Company, often called the Triangle Shirtwaist Co., manufacturers of women's cotton and linen blouses. Located in lower Manhattan in the early 20th cent., on Mar. 25, 1911 it was the site of New York City's worst factory fire. The company, which occupied the top three floors of the 10-story Asch Building, employed some 500 young seamstresses, mainly Jewish and Italian immigrants, and less than 100 men. The fire began on the eighth floor at about 4:45 descr='[PM]'; fed by burning cloth, it became a conflagration. Although hindered by inward-opening doors that slammed shut in the crush, most of those on the eighth and tenth floors managed to escape, but on the ninth the rear door, bolted to prevent theft, could not be opened, and after the fire escape collapsed most were trapped. Clothes and hair ablaze, many women jumped to their deaths. Fire companies could do little, as neither water from their hoses nor their ladders reached above the seventh floor and their safety nets ripped with the weight of so many. In less than 15 minutes 146 died, nearly all women.

The company's owners were tried for manslaughter, but acquitted (1914), and their liability was limited to $75 in damages paid to 23 of the victims' families, awarded after a civil suit. The outcry occasioned by the fire, however, led to important reforms. The Factory Investigating Commission (headed by Robert F. Wagner and Alfred E. Smith), the Bureau of Fire Investigation, and the Fire Department's Fire Prevention Division were all established later in 1911. The ultimate result of their investigations were new labor, health, and fire safety laws, which, among other things, mandated outward-opening doors, sprinkler systems, fire drills, and regular building inspections, and forbade locked doors during working hours. The fire also led to increasingly successful labor-union organizing in city factories and sweatshops, particularly by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and, more broadly, to a liberal and reformist movement within the Democratic party.

See L. Stein, The Triangle Fire (1962, repr. 2011); D. Von Drehle, Triangle (2003).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Triangle Waist Company
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.