What was the significance of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire?  

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company was a major event in US history because it dramatized the need for better working conditions for American laborers.

The fire, which killed 146 textile workers, happened in New York City in 1911.  The fire killed the workers because they were locked into their workplace and had no way of escaping.  In the aftermath of the fire, the owners of the factory were let off with a nominal fine and no other punishments.

The fire showed that many American workers were forced to work in very dangerous conditions.  It led to a push for laws that would require companies to ensure that their workplaces were safe.  These laws required things like sprinklers to put out fires, fire escape doors that opened outwards, and restrictions on smoking in workplaces.

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 led to the deaths of nearly 150 workers who either died in the fire or jumped to their deaths, and resulted in legislation that improved working conditions for factory employees.  Most of the employees of the New York City factory, which was located near present day Greenwich Village, were female immigrants.  Factory managers had locked the doors to stairwells and workrooms to prevent unauthorized breaks, exacerbating the loss of life when workers jumped from the upper floors of the building.