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Triangle Shirt Waist Fire And Its Effect On Loabor

1550 words - 7 pages

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, and its effect on labor.

In contrast to modern day, Unions during the industrial revolution lived up to the era, and through demonstrations, strikes, and tragedies, were revolutionized. Making the workplace safer, hospitable, and bringing an end to the horrors seen through tragedy and scandal. Upton Sinclair’s tell-all book “The Jungle” brought the inhumane conditions in the meat packing industry, and gave people an inside look into the day-to-day operations of a factory cloaked in scandal, and expelling filth and disease through out the populations. While such tragedies such as the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire of 1911, brought to the masses ...view middle of the document...

Fleeing immediately to the one small emergency exit that existed and many dying shortly after. The buildings one fire escape was deemed to be inferior and the high casualties that were seen repeatedly showed this true. Some girls fled down a corridor that led to the street, but this soon was blocked by flames ("141 men and," 1911) one girl was seen jumping from a window only to meet her death by a plate glass roof that was shielding the sidewalk beneath it. This girl wouldn’t be the only one to die this way. Crowds of these girls began jumping to their deaths prompting the crowd to begin shouting “don’t jump!” but as proven later with the charred remains of girls inside the factory, the girls had really no choice and in a sense simply picked their own poison. Policeman comments about the remains were surprising to those that thought of the building as fireproof. One policeman stated simply “it’s the worst I ever saw” and another saying that the remains found were “…human, that’s all you can tell” ("141 men and," 1911). The bodies were described as a pile of ashes with congealed blood where they believed the neck once was. Bodies were piled in the elevator shaft, obviously in a mass attempt to escape the flames, more than 30 girls tried to save themselves and failed. The bodies that were strewn all over the streets blocking roads and making it rather difficult for firemen and other rescue personnel to position themselves with ladders and other life saving apparatuses against the building, including hose trucks and water pumps and provided the areas morgues a steady workload as they carried back these masses, unable to call them body’s, as that would mean they were human. These were burned so badly that to identify them as human was nearly impossible.
Victims were primarily consisted of Italians, Russians, Hungarians, and Germans. These victims were all dressed for the street signaling to fireman and investigator that these girls were waiting for the signal to go home for the day, and avoid this deadly happening. Triangle Waist Factory owners Harris and Black, who escaped the fire by way of the roof, The employee’s however were unaware this was even an escape they could have used, and most likely successfully, and life sparingly. ("141 men and," 1911). The building was classified as being of modern construction and was classed as fireproof. With this however, the fire department reported to the building department that the building was unsafe due to the lack of exits. A conflict that was in copious supply during 1911. What burned so quickly were the shirtwaists themselves. The sewing machines were packed so tightly together and the aisle between them so narrow ("141 men and," 1911). That these shirtwaists burned as one large flammable object, and with the addition of the floor being covered with shirtwaist clippings and fabric snippets, the spread of the fire was almost instantaneous.
After the fire subsided, and the bodies all taken to the...

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