The shirtwaist was a very popular women’s shirt in the early 1900's. The Triangle factory was very successful with the production and sale of the shirtwaist until competition arose. It was because of this competition that the two men who owned the company were so hard on the workers and ignored existing safety concerns.
A devastating fire broke out in the factory on March 25, 1911. A total of 146 people were killed primarily due to their unsafe work environment.
If there was any positive outcome from this tragic event, it would be that the Triangle Fire ignited a revolution for worker safety. It provoked strong reaction among American factory workers and caused a reform in legislation to enhance worker safety.
July 13, 1900
Plans for a new building for Joseph Asch at Greene Street and Washington Place in New York City are approved.
Jan 15, 1901
Construction of the Asch building is completed.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Company opens a factory on the eighth floor of the Asch building.
A fire prevention expert writes a letter to Triangle Shirtwaist management suggesting that they hold a meeting to discuss improved safety measures, but the letter is ignored.
Local 25 of the ILGWU declares a strike against the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. By November, the strike spreads to other shirtwaist manufacturers. The strike ends after thirteen weeks that saw over 700 striking workers arrested.