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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


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

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

Young Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

Children's and YA Fiction


of the , Digital ID 804791, New York Public LibraryArticles



Other Related Materials

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!


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great information

I had never actually even heard about this until your blog post. Thanks for linking to all this great content! I have so many great places to read up on the fire now.

Great Blog!

This lists so many great resources. I especially like that you included poetry since we are entering April in a week or so which is poetry month. Teachers may want to have students do a dual project on the fire and poetry. Linking three different disciplines like poetry and history and fiction is wonderful.

Fantastic Resources!

This is a super informative blog post and it's jam packed with great resources. Thank you to all involved for putting this together. It will be a very good blog to recommend for future research needs.

Library connection to the fire

Thank you for this! In 1909, when the Jefferson Market library was still a courthouse, the factory workers organized and went on strike. The striking women were threatened by officers that if they were arrested they would be taken to the Jefferson Market courthouse and "no nice girls go there." At the time, the courthouse had the very first Night Court in the country and was therefore the place arrested prostitutes, among other "nighttime" criminals, were taken. The strikers were not intimidated, were arrested and taken to the courthouse - the rest is tragic history.

Thank You for Your Help in Remembering the Triangle 146 victims

With Appreciation to the New York Public Library and Lauren Lampasone for this valuable reference that will help all to honor and remember the 146 victims of the Triangle Waist Factory Fire. Thank you also for listing under "Other Related Materials" the Memorial Compilation and Testament to the 146 Victims...that I made and was issued for many years by the New York State Senate.

Add book to Triangle resources

Please add this book to the non-fiction list: "The New York City Triangle Factory Fire" by Leigh Benin, Rob Linne, Adrienne Sosin, Joel Sosinsky, with HBO Documentary Films and Workers United, published by Arcadia Publishing, February 2011. This book is part of the Images of America series of vintage photographs. It contains the largest collection of Triangle fire related photos, dating from the early 1900's to the present. This book was shared by its authors at the NYPL Mid Manhattan branch in March.

Thank you!

Adrienne, looks like this book has been ordered for our collection; I have added it to the list. Thank you for letting us know!

Thank you for including our

Thank you for including our book in your resource list; your blog post is linked to the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition's Resources page under Reader Recommendations.


How did the tragedy at the triangle shirtwaist fire factory change american history? Who was to blame for the fire and the deaths of so many young people? Did working conditions change as a result of the fire?

These are really good

These are really good questions! Are they for a homework assignment? You will find the answers to all of them in the text and resources linked above. :-)

Another resource

Don't forget the YA Sunfire book Rachel (ISBN: 059040394X)—I read it as a young girl and it was my first exposure to the Shirtwaist Factory fire, it has stayed with me all these years!

The sad part is that such

The sad part is that such sweatshops still exist today and many many children and women are working in horrible conditions and are putting their lives at risk. <a href="">maria campeanu</a>

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