Informative speech about the Triangle Waist Co. factory fire. HELP?

Have any of you ever done that? Did you do good? Any pointers? Here's what I have so far.

Divided by Fire: The Triangle Waist Co. Factory Fire

“Damned be the rich! Damned be the system! Damned be the world!” This was written by the Yiddish poet Morris Rosenfeld, the “poet laureate of the slum.” It shared a common feeling felt by all in the aftermath of the worst factory fire in the history of our country.

On March 25, 1911 the Triangle Waist Factory fire claimed 146 lives. It lasted only 45 minutes. [It was the triangle shirtwaist factory fire. It occurred on March 25, 1911 and it claimed 146 lives.] Yet, for the 600 workers occupying the building, it most certainly lasted an entire lifetime.

Presently, it is every employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and constructive work environment for his or her employees. In 1911 and years previous, it wasn’t. Sweatshops were commonplace and accepted. Workers had few rights. Most workers were immigrants. They would work for fewer wages than the Americans who demanded more rights and greater pay.

The Uprising of the 20,000 as it came to be called; was a garment workers strike. It focused on gaining a union and union rights for garment factories and their workers. The Triangle Waist Co. was owned and operated by two Russian immigrants, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck. Harris and Blanck forbid their workers to organize a union and strike. In November 1909 a walkout of 20,000 garment workers from garment factories all over New York City occurred in response to their refused plea for a union.

Harris and Blanck showed their contempt for the strikers by hiring prostitutes as scabs. They also paid the prostitute’s pimps to beat up the strikers and pushed the police to arrest and detain the protesters. In February 1910, after thirteen long weeks of protesting, the strike ended inconclusively. For some garment workers a union was negotiated and was acquired. For the strikers of the Triangle Waist Co. a union was denied and only a small pay raise was added to their meager pay.

Not more than 1 year later, fire.

We will never know what started the fire. We do know what happened during the fire though. We learned this from the survivors of the fire. We learned this from the lucky ones. A cigarette thrown in the waste bin on the 8th floor is the most accepted and the most logical theory of what started the fire. The fire spread quickly. Scraps of cloth on the floor and paper patterns hanging from the ceiling ensured this.

27 buckets of water, two exits, two passenger elevators, two freight elevators, one water hose, and one fire escape; were the extent of the safety measures and escape routes available to the approximately 600 workers desperately trying to escape.


This is NOT the finished version. This is as far as I have gotten.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    here are a whole bunch of sites that may provide you additional information for your speech..

    Hope they help:

    Witnesses to the Triangle Fire (listing)

    The list includes names of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers as well as of ... We do not have additional information on these individuals, nor do we perform ... - 118k - Cached

    Triangle Waist Company: Information and Much More from

    Triangle Waist Company, often called the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. ... cent., on Mar. 25, 1911 it was the site of New York City's worst factory fire. ... - Cached

    Triangle Waist Company —

    Triangle Waist Company, often called the Triangle Shirtwaist Co., manufacturers ... cent., on Mar. 25, 1911 it was the site of New York City's worst factory fire. ... - Cached

    Triangle Waist Company Research | Find Triangle Waist Company Articles ...

    Triangle Waist Company Information At ... cent., on Mar. 25, 1911 it was the site of New York City's worst factory fire. ... - 88k - Cached

    Triangle Waist Company – FREE Triangle Waist Company Information ...

    Triangle Waist Company often called the Triangle Shirtwaist Co., manufacturers ... cent., on Mar. 25, 1911 it was the site of New York City's worst factory fire. ... - 101k - Cached

    Pauline Newman Letter Describes Triangle Fire

    ... passage, Newman describes getting a job at the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory. ... The Triangle Waist Co. was located at Green street and Washington Place. ... - Cached

    [PDF] In the late 1800s, many workers faced hard physical labor, long hours ...

    513k - Adobe PDF - View as HTML

    that the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City ... "Notice, the Triangle Waist Co. begs to notify their customers that they are ...

    The Triangle Factory Fire Project: Review on

    Review: The Triangle Factory Fire Project: by David Finkle on ... and TACT cast present the Triangle Waist fire and its upsetting aftermath with ... - 57k - Cached

    Transcripts of Criminal Trial Against Triangle Owners

    ... trial against the owners of the Triangle Waist factory in New York City is part ... to obtain full background information on the fire that caused the owners to ... - Cached

    Significance of the Triangle Shirt Waist Fire ~ Social Studies ~ School ...

    His coat flattened upward: the air filled his trouser legs; I could see that he ... Eulogy for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Victims. Life and Labor, May 1911 ... - Cached

  • Irene
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    No, I do not think that the verdict in this very famous case was just. As in so many other famous cases, the wealthier folks had better lawyers and managed to escape their just deserts. What I read was that one tactic used by the defense was to have one particularly devastating witness repeat her testimony several times. It became clear that she had memorized her statement. Somehow this convinced the jury that she was unreliable. I doubt that I would have reacted that way had I been on that jury. I think if I had been called to be witness in such a case I might well have memorized what I was going to say to make sure I didn't leave out anything important. But go figure! A similar thing happened with the Titanic. There was an insufficient number of life boats on that ship. But the owners of the cruise ship were not punished for that. They knew it was an insufficient number of life boats. But so what? The ship was advertised as unsinkable. And the law hadn't required them to put more life boats on board. So they got away with it. In my own children's lifetimes, the schools they went to also locked (and chained) all the doors to the schools closed on a daily basis except for the front entrance. Had there ever been a fire, all the children but perhaps those in the first classroom closest to the entrance would have died. I always hated that. But there was nothing I could do but complain. The school made excuses, as Blanck and Harris did -- oh the kids will leave; adults who don't belong here will come in...We were lucky. Those workers at that factory were not.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


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