“Rarely do you get this opportunity for such legislative reform, but women had to burn first in order for this to happen.” — Triangle Fire, quoting Samuel Gompers
In 2018, American Experience by PBS produced a documentary about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Triangle Fire, that is available for free on its website.
On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history. A dropped match on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a hundred innocent people trapped inside.
The private industry of the American factory would never be the same. The landmark legislation that followed gave New Yorkers the most comprehensive workplace safety laws in the country.
The film features interviews with historians Jo Ann E. Argersinger, Richard A. Greenwald, Annelise Orleck, Thomas Bender, Robyn Muncy, and Steve Fraser.
Stream the Triangle Fire documentary for free at PBS.org.