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Triangle Factory Fire


Photo courtesy of International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Archives, Kheel Center, Cornell University

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was a horrible tragedy that ultimately changed American Labor Unions and labor laws.

The fire came only five years after Upton Sinclair published his book The Jungle, which detailed the plight of workers at a meat packer's plant. Soon, the nation focused on food safety regulations, but not on working conditions. It took the tragic death of 146 girls, whose average age was 19, for politicians and the people to see the need to regulate safety in the workplace.

To help you teach your students about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and help them learn more about the history of labor in the United States, we have gathered the following resources:

Web Sites

Articles

Audio Story

  • NPR: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 
    Listen to this 6-minute audio story that includes clips from a 2001 interview with Rose Freedman, the last living survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

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