Interesting facts about the triangle shirtwaist factory fire

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interesting facts about the triangle shirtwaist factory fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Jessica S. Gunderson

I have never personally really enjoyed comic books. However, I do like to read the comics in the newspapers because they make me laugh. I also know that many people enjoy reading graphic novels and comics because they present information in a very visual, easy-to-read way. When I happened upon a book that presented historical events in such a way, I was intrigued. Could a graphic novel really encapsulate a historical event with enough facts that someone could really understand what happened? The answer is absolutely yes. This book was a quick read for me, but I fell as though I have a great grasp of what happened in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the causes of it. I also feel that the graphic novel format makes it more realistic because the pictures allow the reader to see the events as they happen to real characters, rather than just facts on a page.

As I already mentioned, I really like the graphic novel format and I feel that Miller and Barnetts illustrations really add to the overall effect of the book. In fact, since the book is a graphic novel, they are an integral part of the story. I particularly think that the care Miller and Barnett took with drawing the facial expressions of the characters is important. Many of the pictures are up close portraits of the characters and one can almost feel the frustration or fear or exhaustion of the characters by how vividly it is conveyed in the pictures of their faces. I also think that Miller and Barnetts use of color enhances the photographs. The fire is a very vivid orange, which brings a realistic element to how real the danger was.

This book would be wonderful to use with upper elementary grades and even on up into high school. I think that many 5th and 6th graders would enjoy reading it, especially since they could learn about history in a novel way. As far as using the book for instructional purposes, the obvious use is to fit it in with a history unit about the industrial revolution and what working conditions were like during that era. It could also be used as part of a reading unit and compared with an informational book of a more traditional format to help students explore informational texts more deeply. It could be used as part of a writing unit to give students ideas for creating their own comic strips or graphic novels.

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Published 24.11.2018


Fun Fact Fridays – Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

It may not seem that the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, which happened over a century ago in New York City, would be relevant today -- but it is. It was a tragedy that opened the nation's eyes to poor working conditions in garment factories and other workplaces, and set in motion a historic era of labor reforms. Unfortunately, we haven't built enough on these gains. Today, too many employers are failing to obey the labor and workplace safety laws that were enacted in the years following the tragedy. And in part because our government is not adequately enforcing these laws, workers are still needlessly losing their lives on the job. There is a lot that we can and must do to ensure that the wellbeing of workers is put above profits.

Safe conditions came at a high price – the lives of factory workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
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Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 1911

One of the most infamous tragedies in American manufacturing history is the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of You may recall the story—how a blaze in a New York City sweatshop resulted in the fiery death of people, mostly immigrant women in their teens and 20s. When workers found exit doors locked, jammed narrow staircases, and a fire escape collapsed, they resorted to jumping from the story building to a gruesome death. However, what happened at the Triangle factory is more than an industrial disaster story; it has become a touchstone, and often a critique, of capitalism in the United States. As an online exhibit from Cornell University's Kheel Center explains, "The tragedy still dwells in the collective memory of the nation and of the international labor movement. The victims of the tragedy are still celebrated as martyrs at the hands of industrial greed.

Triangle shirtwaist factory fire , fatal conflagration that occurred on the evening of March 25, , in a New York City sweatshop , touching off a national movement in the United States for safer working conditions. The fire—likely sparked by a discarded cigarette—started on the eighth floor of the Asch Building, 23—29 Washington Place, just east of Washington Square Park. The flames, fed by copious cotton and paper waste, quickly spread upward to the top two floors of the building. Many workers, trapped by doors that had been locked to prevent theft, leapt from windows to their deaths. The women and 17 men who perished in the minute conflagration were mostly young European immigrants. It took several days for family members to identify the victims, many of whom were burned beyond recognition. Six of the victims, all interred under a monument in a New York City cemetery, were not identified until through research conducted by an amateur genealogist.


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