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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 28, 1912, Image 18',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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' DEAD GIRLS; LAW; JUSTICE ' "
A man in Washington Square; New York city, looks up att a
skyscraper on the skirt of the park and sees a-thin ribbon -of smoke
twisting up from a window. Suddenly.a red "blast of flame shoots
from three windows. Other windows on the ninth floor of this
building are thrown open. The man turns pale' at the sight of
human hands and heads at these fiery windows. "MyGod! they
are caught they are dying it is a holocaust!" cried the man."
The top floors are now all ablaze and a'human form, that of a
girl, hair streaming, drops like a blazing rocket from a window
ledge. Another, then three more and then a man whirls down1 to
death. Look .there a girl is stretching up her hands, praying- to
her God! Her supplication is strangled in her throat, for another
girl, crazed with pain, has pushed her out and both are falling
The man turns his head it is too terrible. The firemen come.
The ambulances come. Within fifteen minutes of the first alarm
147 crushed and bleeding dead bodies, 'a sight too sickening to de-
scribe, are lying on the pavements. '
You, the reader, heard of this terrible thing on March 25, 1911.
Doubtless you will 'recall how the mere reading of it chilled your
blood. Most of the victims were girls fine, respectable, working
girls like our sisters, our daughters, our sweethearts. We alf
knew "what anguish filled the hearts of the families and friends of
s those dead girls that night that dreadful, choking, life-stifling pin
which seizes and convulses us when we look upon the-face of one
we have loved and lost. Millions of Americans shuddered at' the
news and their hearts yearned in pity for the stricken living.
An investigation of the conditions in the Trjahgle Waist Co.v's
shop was begun by the New York officials to detenrfme how it could . '
be that 147 girls and men in a factory on the ninth floor of a sup
posedly fireproof building could find no .escape except "by leaping
from windows. Alter months of legal quibbling and official fussing
it was discovered that THOSEPEOPLE WERE.LOCKED INTO
THEIR WORKSHOP and the precautions required by law -had
not been taken Against such a disaster.
The only explanation was that fire precautions cost money
and sometimes tihoughtless or criminal employers, will' lock up a lot