On March 25,1911, fire broke out on the upper
floors of the Asch building in New York City's Greenwich Village. Before the blaze could be brought under control,
146 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company,
mostly teenage girls, would have either burned or
jumped to their deaths. Using primary sources such as eyewitness accounts, newspaper articles, official testimony and documents, photographs, and political cartoons, this Jackdaw explores the horrific Triangle
Shirtwaist fire, from the events of the day and their aftermath, to the labor and immigration issues that were a major contributing factor, to the legal and social changes the tragedy eventually spawned.
Focus Jackdaws are specifically designed to stimulate interest in key historical eras and events and link the past with the present. They are ideal for enhanced classroom discussions, concentrated group study, and individual student research projects. Authentically reproduced documents help students understand the significance of primary source materials while they expand critical thinking and analysis skills.
Primary Source Documents
- Illustrated Broadsheet Essay
- Critical Thinking Questions
- Recommended Reading List
- Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire photo-poster.
- Front page and partial page 6 of the Los Angeles
Herald, March 26, 1911.
- "The Washington Place Fire" by Triangle fire
survivor Rosey Safran.
- "Mameniu!" ("Little Mother!") -Sheet music and
elegy to the Triangle fire victims.
- "147 Dead, Nobody Guilty" -A summary of opinions
on the Isaac Harris/Max Blanck trial verdict.
- "The Triangle Workers: Unions and Radicals"
an illustrated poster.
- Excerpt from "Testimony of William L. Beers,"
New York City fire marshal.
- Excerpt from "Recommendations of the Commision: Prevention of Fire"