Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later


Editorial Cartoons

  • “Fire Trap Victims Buried. Draft New Law to Save Shop Workers.” The March 28, 1911 New York Evening Journal cover stories told the horrifying experiences of survivors and witnesses, and asked who was responsible for the catastrophe and what would be done.
  • “Who is responsible? Who is responsible for the murders of one hundred and forty-five young girls and men in the “fire proof” fire trap? On whose head rests the blame for the inadequate, antiquated, criminal stairs and single fire escape, made possible because the building was classed as “fireproof”? These dead girls cry aloud, not for revenge, but for justice. Their flame-racked bodies demand protection for the thousands of sister toilers who have not yet been sacrificed to fire. Their silent lips call, ‘Who is responsible?’” Detail of March 28, 1911 New York Evening Journal editorial cartoon.
  • “In compliance with law? The fire escape that ends in midair must be abolished.” A New York Tribune editorial cartoon depicts women falling from a collapsing fire escape surrounded by smoke and flames while those above them look on.
  • “The horrors of jumping.” An editorial cartoon depicts women leaning out windows, jumping and falling from the burning Asch Building, framed by dollar signs.
  • “This Is One of a Hundred Murdered. Is any one to be punished for this?” The editorial cartoon shows a woman’s body on the sidewalk surrounded by smoldering fragments with a sign nearby that reads “Operators Wanted. Inquire Ninth Floor.”
  • In an editorial cartoon, a skeleton surrounded by smoke and flames rises from the burning Asch Building and considers the horrifying events below.
  • In an editorial cartoon, a man wearing clothing made of money leans against the factory door which is locked with a dollar sign key, while women die in smoke and flames on the other side of the door.
  • “The Locked Door!” An editorial cartoon shows women surrounded in smoke and flames pounding their fists on the locked factory door.
  • In an editorial cartoon, a spotlight shines on a shrouded body being lowered from the Asch Building after the Triangle fire.
  • “How Soon Will They Be All Forgotten?” In an editorial cartoon, a grieving woman kneels to place flowers on a new grave.
  • “Inspector Of Buildings! Record fire for New York, 145 lives lost!!!! Building Fire Proof, Only Fire Escape Collapses. O.K. Inspector.” An editorial cartoon shows a skeletal building inspector with a grim smile approving conditions at the Asch Building.
  • Composite of Triangle fire editorial cartoons from a variety of newspapers.
  • “Triangle Shirt Waist Manufacturers Listening To Testimony Against Them. Max Blanck and Isaac Harris.
  • The shirtwaist strike ended February 15, 1910. In September of the same year, Louis Brandeis mediated an agreement between factory owners and union leaders. Known as the Protocol of Peace, it attempted to reduce conflict between garment factory owners and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, providing mechanisms to address worker grievances and promote arbitration.
Sweatshop conditions in the early 1900's