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General Slocum Disaster &
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

By Patricia Doyle, PhD


June 15, 1904

Images from

The General Slocum

On a sunny June morning in 1904, the General Slocum, an excursion boat, sailed from Manhattan's Third Street pier, bound for Long Island. Aboard the steamer was a local church group looking forward to a day of picnicking and fun. But just minutes after the Slocum left its dock, black smoke began pouring from the ship. Hay and cans of oil had somehow ignited in a supply room, and fire roared through the steamer. The burning of the Slocum proved to be one of the worst disasters on water in American history; 1,021 people — mostly women and children — were killed.

The Fire - Scene after the Collapse of the Hurricane-deck

The General Slocum Sinks

Some of the Survivors in Blankets being helped

View of the River Front, showing Bodies cast up on the Shore

Burial of the 'unidentified' 'Gen. Slocum' disaster



Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
March 25, 1911

Images from Wikipedia and


On March 25, 1911, a quick-spreading fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory killed 146 people as thousands watched.
The industrial accident had significant long-term effects in industrial safety reforms and union organizing.

The fire escape twisted and collapsed while workers were on it; 24 died falling from it and then others could not use it to get out.

Victims who jumped to their deaths

Many of those who died jumped from windows of the factory.
This newspaper photo shows pavement broken by the weight of falling bodies.

Newspaper photo shows the inside of the Triangle Factory after the
fire, showing the utter devastation in the quick-spreading fire

Families visited the temporary morgue set up after the fire on the Charities
Pier on 26th Street at the East River, trying to identify loved ones who had died.

A commemoration drew thousands of people, many holding aloft shirtwaists
with the names of the victims as they listened to speakers.

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