The Triangle Fire

1269 Words6 Pages
The Triangle Fire In the late nineteenth century, many fields of American labor progressed from hand tool limitation to booming, breakneck productivity. Output in many industries, including the clothing industry, extended exponentially. Statistically, America was thriving. However, the gears pumping the American economic engine were human beings who were excessively overworked and underpaid. The focus of the typical business tycoon laid dead set on profit and production, and left scamp or no spot on the agenda for employee well being and safety. Portentous fatalities in the workplace did nothing to sway factory owners into adopting appropriate hazard prevention measures. This neglect came to a focal point with the Triangle Shirtwaist Company disaster of 1911. A blazing inferno within the floors occupied by the factory caused approximately one hundred and forty six women to lose their lives via incineration or plummeting. David von Drehles nonfiction novel, Triangle: the Fire That Changed America, accounts events before and after the tragedy, and why the Triangle disaster is significant to America as a whole, and not just exclusive to New York. Turn of the century New York City government and politics was predominantly machine oriented. The most notorious party was Tammany Hall. Tammany was chock full of influential city leaders and ladder climbing underlings. The administration steadfastly assisted immigrants and the poor with provisions such as food and gas. In return, Tammany ushered them into voting their puppets into office who would pass laws and bills supported by them. Illegal activity was also a factor in empowering the democratic conglomerate. Tammany Hall chiefs such as Big Tim Sullivan and Squire Richard Croker oversaw many briberies and grafts during their tenures. Crackdowns were commonly averted obstacles. Since Tammanys influence extended to
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