The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

By Lauren Lampasone, Reference and Research Services
March 25, 2011
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place 100 years ago today, was a tragic incident in New York City's history but also a turning point in the early labor movement.


Fire Escape Of Asch Building After The Triangle Fire, New York City, 1911. Image ID: 804790

One hundred and forty-six workers died, mostly young women from immigrant families. The fire was deadly because of the height of the building, the amount of fabric and flammable material inside, the lack of proper fire escapes, and exits that were locked to prevent workers from taking breaks. Many fell or jumped to their deaths. The tragedy brought greater awareness to sweatshop conditions, which led to widespread changes in labor practices and the movement towards legal protection of workers' rights.

Below are materials selected by NYPL librarians held in our collections and elsewhere that document and memorialize this event, so that we may continue to learn from it 100 years later.

General Reference

(For database access, authenticate with your library card through first, and then click on the links to search)


Triangle Fire., Digital ID 804792 , New York Public Library


Young Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

Children's and YA Fiction


of the , Digital ID 804791, New York Public Library
Labor union parade, NY., May 1, 1911 (LOC)

Labor union parade, NY., May 1, 1911 (LOC) via Flickr

Many thanks to Carmen Nigro, Valerie Wingfield, Alexandra Gomez, Trevor Jones, Brooke Watkins and Kerri Wallace for their contributions to this post!