Essay About Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Essay About Triangle Shirtwaist Fire-90
Wealthy progressive women like Anne Morgan (daughter of J. Morgan) and Alva Belmont (whose first husband, William Vanderbilt, presented her with a home so lavish, it was worth 0 million in today’s dollars) believed that all women—rich and poor—would be treated better if women had the right to vote.Alva saw the labor uprising as an opportunity to move the women strikers’ concerns into a broader feminist struggle.

Wealthy progressive women like Anne Morgan (daughter of J. Morgan) and Alva Belmont (whose first husband, William Vanderbilt, presented her with a home so lavish, it was worth 0 million in today’s dollars) believed that all women—rich and poor—would be treated better if women had the right to vote.

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The shirtwaist makers’ story was so compelling because it brought attention to the events leading up to the fire.

After the fire, their story inspired hundreds of activists across the state and the nation to push for fundamental reforms.

For these young women workers, the strike had become more than taking a stand for a pay raise and reduced work hours.

They wanted to create a union with real power and solidarity.

For some, such as Frances Perkins, who stood helpless watching the factory burn, the tragedy inspired a lifetime of advocacy for workers’ rights. During the busy season, the work was nearly non-stop. In some cases, they were required to use their own needles, thread, irons and occasionally their own sewing machines.

She later became secretary of labor under President Franklin D. The shirtwaist makers, as young as age 15, worked seven days a week, from 7 a.m. The factories also were unsanitary, or as a young striker explained, “unsanitary—that’s the word that is generally used, but there ought to be a worse one used.” At the Triangle factory, women had to leave the building to use the bathroom, so management began locking the steel exit doors to prevent the “interruption of work” and only the foreman had the key.

Meanwhile, the fiercely anti-union owners of the Triangle factory met with owners of the 20 largest factories to form a manufacturing association.

Many of the strike leaders worked there, and the Triangle owners wanted to make sure other factory owners were committed to doing whatever it took—from using physical force (by hiring thugs to beat up strikers) to political pressure (which got the police on their side)—to not back down.

Worn with an ankle-length skirt, the shirtwaist was appropriate for any occasion—from work to play—and was more comfortable and practical than fashion that preceded it, like corsets and hoops.

Years before the Triangle fire, garment workers actively sought to improve their working conditions—including locked exits in high-rise buildings—that led to the deaths at Triangle.

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