Episode 4: Their Memory Stands

No one can say for sure where or who the initial spark came from that day. The popular theory pinned on a cigarette…. flicked carelessly to the side onto a pile of clothing scraps near the rear stairwell on the first floor. 

And it didn’t take long for the little ember to grow into flame, leaping between scraps of lint and plush, and skating along the oil that dripped from the rows of sewing machines. The open, wooden staircases provided the perfect path to grow ever upward.

It’s a sad story that plays over and over through history: Sometimes it takes disaster to push change.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire would push regulation and better working conditions. But two years later, another tragedy–the Binghamton Factory fire–would push change further still, and their memory still stands today.

This episode was written and research by Natalie Shoemaker

Burial of Binghamton Factory Fire workers
Burial of the workers who died in the Binghamton Clothing Company fire on July 22, 1913.

You can pay your respects to the workers in the Spring Forest Cemetery in Binghamton, NY. Their monument sits at the south side of the cemetery up a cracked cement path. Blocks of stone mark where each is buried.

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