What laws or law came out of both the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the Great Chicago Fire?

Expert Answers
nyoung11 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire occurred in New York City in 1911. It is one of the deadliest industrial disasters in the history of the United States. The fire led to improved safety standards for factory workers. One of the reasons that this fire was so deadly was because the factory owners locked the doors to the exits. During this time, locking doors was a common practice to prevent theft and unauthorized breaks. This was changed by the introduction of the aforementioned legislation. Another law that resulted from this fire was the "54-hour bill" to address working hours and ages of employees. It stated that women and boys under the age of 18 could work no more than 54 hours a week. Individuals under the age of 14 were not permitted to work in factories, and women were required to have at least a break of one month after giving birth before returning to work in factories. Additional reforms to address fire safety were also instituted as a result of the fire, including the banning of smoking inside and fire-proof trash cans. In order to enforce these laws, every factory was subsequently required to register with the New York Department of Labor.

The Great Chicago Fire resulted in stricter building and fire codes. However, it can be argued that the rebuilding of the city after the fire had more profound architectural effects than legal changes. Before the fire, the city's buildings and homes were constructed mostly of wood, since timber was very plentiful in the Midwest during this time and fire and building codes were either too lax or ignored. In fact, the Chicago Tribune once claimed that the city was "full of firetraps." "The Great Rebuilding" was an effort to rebuild the city center after the fire. It resulted in innovative buildings and a new style of architecture. Laws required that buildings be made of fireproof materials, such as brick, limestone and marble. Big banks and business invested heftily in the rebuilding, resulting in a new business district made up of these fireproof materials. Terra-cotta become one of the most popular of them all.  In 1956, the Chicago Fire Academy was built on the site where the fire began. It continues to train firefighters to this day.