Tag Archives: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Videos for the Classroom: The 1911 Triangle Fire from “New York” by Ric Burns

This week, there are a multitude of events, programs and special documentaries that commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911.  This snippet is from Ric Burnsdocumentary New York: A Documentary History.

Over the years, I’ve become more skeptical of Ric Burns’ work, as well as of his more esteemed brother Ken.  The still photos, maudlin music and monotone narration seem to manipulate my emotions a little TOO much.  Furthermore, they put my kids to sleep: their work is definitely geared more toward adults.

In spite of these drawbacks, however, Burns’ piece on the Triangle Fire does excel where similar styles would produce gags anywhere else.  In fact, I was introduced to the fire through this film, and it still remains a remarkable introduction.  The photo stills alone would shock any audience.

This piece serves as a good primer for your students in learning about the fire.  Make sure to show it before the PBS Gestapo force it off of YouTube.

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