The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 2nd 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.

Conditions in sweatshops across America

Why did Women put up with this abuse they got from sweatshop bosses?

In today's society workers have rights and there is legislation to protect them. Back then, at the turn of the century, there were no rights. Women put up with these conditions or they quit. Quitting however, was not an option. If women quit who would feed their babies who were waiting back home?

Accepting abuse

Women were caught between a rock and a hard spot and they had to accept the abuse in order to survive.

Many sweatshops in foreign countries such as China still carry on these abusive practices today. We are fortunate that in Canada and the USA that our sweatshops today are not half as bad as other countries or half as bad as they were back at the turn of the century but they still are not good under any stretch of the imagination.

The most infamous American Sweatshop in history

The lower east end of New York City was the hub of the garment industry at the turn of the 20th century. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire made headlines on March 25, 1911, when 146 garment workers either died in the fire or plunged to their deaths by jumping out of the factories windows. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was housed in the Asch Building now called the Brown Building of Science and designated a national historical landmark.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory manufactured woman's blouses, which were called shirtwaists in that era. Most of the 600 hundred workers were immigrant women originally from Germany, Italy, and Eastern Europe. The workers were as young as 12 years old and worked 14-hour-shifts in 60 to 72 hour work weeks. Their wages were pitiful. At a time in history when the average salary was $791 a year these workers made $338 a year.

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

Some links to previous articles

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


All photos taken from the public domain

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Tags

Conditions In Sweatshops, Factories, Garment Factory, Garment Industry, Sweatshop Workers, Sweatshops, Triangle Sweatshop Fire

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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Comments

author avatar Kingwell
3rd Apr 2015 (#)

Another good share but an horrific story. Yet there are those who say the world is not getting to be a better place to live!

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