Factory Standards

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 5th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

In the struggle for women's rights which stems well over a century, some women made great strides in changing the social mores of the day. The plight of the poor is an ongoing topic in women’s issues and women’s rights. This series will look at early sweatshops.


The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was one of the most tragic fires on record. The crowd below watched in horror as the women, many of which were on fire, leaped to their death right in front of them.

How did the law react to this factory disaster?

How did the law react to this factory disaster?

The owners were put on trial, yet it could not be proven if they knew the fire exit was locked. They were acquitted. The families of the victims got $75.00 per death, and the company owners got $400 per death in insurance money. The insurance on the building was clearly more important than the lives of the workers who lost their lives on that infamous day.

Were the owners sorry for the loss of the lives of these poor factory workers?

You tell me!

In 1913 Max Blanck was arrested again for locking a fire exit, he was fined $20.00.

It is hard to believe that after a major fire which took the lives of innocent people had little or no effect upon Max Blanck. It is also hard to believe that the court system of the time did not see that the second offense merited a jail sentence, not a token $20.00 fine.

However, the community did respond with a procedure to prevent such tragedies for happening again.

American Society of Safety Engineers

The American Society of Safety Engineers is the oldest professional safety organization and was founded on October 14, 1911 in direct response to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. This organization has over 32,000 members and manages, and consults on occupational health and safety standards within the private and public sectors. It also responds to as well as to insurance, education issues, professional development. It is currently developing a network partnering program for people who have lost their jobs due to the recession.

The Montreal story is the same story of marginalized individuals all around the world.

For more information on the Montreal needle trade and the horrendous sweatshop situation in Montreal clerk here

Some links to previous articles

The horrendous conditions of sweatshops in America, Canada and Montreal then and now

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Garment Factory Workers Go On Strike

Women's lives lost in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory

All photos taken from the public domain

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Factories, Factory Fires, Factory Workers, Safety In The Work Force, Safety Standards, Sweatshop Conditions, Sweatshop Fires, Trianle Shirtwaist Fire, Work Stafety Standards, Working Standards

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Kingwell
5th Apr 2015 (#)

To think that such things happened in the twentieth century! I'm appalled at sentences handed down by the courts as well. Blessings.

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