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The Triangle Fire: A Brief History with Documents
by:Jo Ann Argersinger
In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City claimed the lives of 146 workers, mainly young immigrant women, who either leaped to their deaths or were trapped in the blaze by locked doors and inadequate fire escapes. The tragedy brought national attention to the unsafe working conditions, long hours, and low pay that had prompted a...
In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City claimed the lives of 146 workers, mainly young immigrant women, who either leaped to their deaths or were trapped in the blaze by locked doors and inadequate fire escapes. The tragedy brought national attention to the unsafe working conditions, long hours, and low pay that had prompted a national garment workers’ strike a year before. Jo Ann Argersinger’s volume examines the context, trajectory, and impact of this Progressive Era event. An introduction explores the demands industrialization placed upon urban working women, their fight to unionize, and the Triangle fire’s significance in the greater scope of labor reform. Documents from newspaper reports to the personal stories of labor agitators and fire survivors continue the story, giving voice to the "girl strikers," their enemies and upper-class allies in the effort to reform the garment industry, and the public outrage that followed the fire. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and an index enrich students’ understanding of this historical moment.
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