Triangle: The Fire That Changed America By David Von Drehle

Improved Essays
In his book Triangle: The Fire that Changed America, David Von Drehle successfully argues that factory conditions during the Second Industrial Revolution were extremely dangerous and unfair. To argue this, Von Drehle uses the events leading up to as well as the consequences the Triangle Waist Company fire. The book is divided into 17 contents. The first is the prologue, in which the author gives a brief summary of the Triangle Waist Company fire and introduces some key players who show up later in the book. Chapters 1 through 9 describe the events surrounding the catastrophic factory fire at the Triangle Waist Company. This disaster resulted in 146 dead due to the lack of workplace safety precautions, which Von Drehle described as very frequent during the time period. The beginning chapters focus on describing the unfair treatment of factory workers, mostly females, children, and immigrants, in America during the early 20th century, as well as the workers' unions formed as a way to protest the unfair work conditions. The later chapters …show more content…
Von Drehle’s outstanding use of primary sources and other sources give a very detailed idea of what it was like to be a factory worker during the Second Industrial Revolution. The tragedy of the Triangle fire gives a small but telling look into how unfairly factory workers were treated. There were more measures taken to ensure that workers didn’t protest than there were safety measures, considering how many workers died because they were locked in the building and couldn’t escape. The aspects of the book that described factory “safety” precautions in detail provided the most convincing aspect of the book, for reading first-hand accounts of how dangerous workplaces were in the 20th century supplies the reader with an inarguable fact that proves Drehle’s main

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    “On May 4, 1886, a labor protest rally near Chicago’s Haymarket Square turned into a riot after someone threw a bomb at police. At least eight people died as a result of the violence that day” (History.com). Similar to that of Ludlow, the riot in Chicago was caused by violence; it was in response to the murder and violence against industrial workers only the day before. Although the police didn 't make the first move in Chicago, there was still a lot of unnecessary violence and death that occurred at something that was meant to be peaceful and bring up equality and labor issues. It is sad that to promote equality, people believe there must be government involvement and…

    • 1023 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Triangle Fire History

    • 456 Words
    • 2 Pages

    It gave the push for women to take a stand and fight for themselves. The disastrous fire brought widespread attention to the dangerous conditions of factories by revealing how unfair the workers were treated and showed that the civil rights of the workers were being violated. The pressure of new reform led to the state implementing over 36 new state laws to regulate fire safety and working conditions in all work areas (Cooper). The Triangle Fire helped to intensify the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. After the fire, Blanck and Harris were indicted for manslaughter but were found not guilty (Colognesi), which caused many unions to become anger.…

    • 456 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Haymarket Square bombing and riot of 1886 resulted in the conviction and execution of the anarchists, who were now viewed as violent, and regarded badly by the public, which remained an obstacle to the goals of AFL. The Homestead Strike in the mid-1880s further damaged the image of the unions when the riot had to be intervened by the government. Similarly, the Pullman Strike saw the president ordering federal troops to break the strike, which damaged the unions’ image greatly, which consisted of skilled workers. Thus, although the labor gained few victories for the American industrial workers, such as the abolition of child labor and eight hour workday, with compensation for injured workers on job, the bigger impact on the industrial workers remained negative mostly. The tensions increased greatly between the ethnic/racial groups, and the public saw the union in a negative…

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    A factory in Homestead, Pennsylvania which manufactured steel caused one of the biggest turning points towards the creation of the early unions. In this factory, working conditions were oppressive. Workers would work twelve hour shifts in pitch black rooms. Accidents would occur like getting caught in the machinery and losing limbs. Cases of third degree burns from exploding hot steel were common.…

    • 1623 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to John F. Kennedy, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind”. This quote shows what war has done to humanity and the Dresden bombing, which took the lives of approximately 135,000, is a great reminder of the terrors caused by war (Firebombing). The antiwar novel Slaughter House Five in-depth describes this horrific event that happened during the World War II, mainly focusing on the bombing of Dresden. The novel describes the experiences Billy Pilgrim, survivor of the Dresden bombings, faces during the war. Through the recap of Billy life during the war the reader learn of the horrors each soldier faces in the front lines.…

    • 1011 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    “Clash! Bang! Ting ting!” are the sounds bombing in factories as the overpowering bell signifies the restless men to return home. These same sounds are the very ones that would reflect the upcoming years for many countries during the early 1900’s during the Industrial Revolution. However, the Russian Industrial Revolution was one of the most impactful and controversial industrial transformation to this day.…

    • 1420 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    A monograph that is closely related to the “Triangle The Fire That Changed America” by David Von Drehle is the monograph “The Triangle Fire” by Leon Stein. In Stein’s monograph “The Triangle Fire” it elaborates on how the Triangle Waist Company fire was devastating and also how it relates to the right of workers “A work of history relevant for all those who continue the fight for workers' rights and safety” (STEIN 2010). This is related to the “Triangle The Fire That Changed America” due to the evidence about the workers in the Triangle Waist Company “Get the manufacturer's to give you what you…

    • 897 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Organized Labor DBQ

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Bombs were being thrown and police had to get involved. This hurt the labor movement by tarnishing its “radical” image. Once again, the Homestead strike and Lockout of 1892, was also for wages. The Carnegie plant corporation had brought in 300 Pinkertons to battle with the workers and the workers ended up losing (Document G). Another significant strike that occurred in 1894 was the Pullman strike.…

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Crime In The 19th Century

    • 1590 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the second time, I realized the actual scary part of the book for people in the late 19th century. In our lectures we went over how crime in the streets was a major problem and how people all worked in factories and we saw the beginning of a technological revolution. The technological revolution had many scary sides to it itself people were being torn apart by the machines in the factories that they worked in and the standard of living for the poor was very low, there was pollution, crime and this was a dark time in general. Stevenson emphasized the darkness of the time, which was smart of him, it gave the book a more hit home kind of feel. As you said in our Lectures, late 19th century London had a strange fascination in irrational urges and crimes.…

    • 1590 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    in thelawdictionary), was not in use until the reported beating of a civilian under arrest at the Harrison Street Police Station in 1872. Police misconduct has been an ever enduring dilemma in America 's history that unfortunately causes death, strikes, and rioting. Nearing the end of the 1800’s, the Great Railroad Strike, or more commonly known as the Great Upheaval, took place on July 14, 1877 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The strikes began in response to the cutting of wages by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O). The striking workers would not allow any train to pass until the wage cut was…

    • 1048 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays