Thursday, January 21, 2016

Teacher's Tool-Kit on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Right about now you're probably preparing your lesson on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.  That disaster in March 1911 caused the death of 146 New York City garment workers, most of them recent immigrants.  The company's owners had locked the door to the workrooms' stairwells and exits.  As a result, when a fire broke out, many died where they worked or jumped from windows to their deaths.
Image of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25 - 1911.jpg
Here are some essential resources.

1-First, this video from CBS News (7:17) marks the 100th anniversary of the fire.
2-This video (5:44) from WNYC tells the story through the recollection of a New York City resident whose grandmother and two aunts were among the victims.

3-PBS produced a feature on the fire as part of its American Experience series.  This link is to the online printed materials it produced for further reading.

4-Cornell University's Industrial Relations School has a comprehensive site called Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire.  In a carefully curated site, it tells the fire's story and gives information about each of the 146 victims.  It has a full set of primary sources, including contemporaneous letters and newspaper articles and trial transcripts.

5-The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (the federal agency responsible for workplace safety today) also has a terrific set of resources.

6-The AFL-CIO has an essay on the fire that puts the tragedy in the context of a rising national labor union movement.

7-Lastly, this feature from Time Magazine tells the story through 9 photographs with explanatory captions.  Warning: Some of the images of the victims are graphic and disturbing.

1 comment:

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