In the early 20th century, New York was the largest city and garment production the largest manufacturing business in America. The garment trade was made possible by tens of thousands of immigrant workers, who labored long hours under unsafe conditions in crowded tenements or factories.... Read More

Meet the Activists

  • Clara Lemlich
    Clara Lemlich
  • Frances Perkins
    Frances Perkins
  • Alva Belmont
    Alva Belmont
  • Rose Scheniderman
    Rose Schneiderman

Objects & Images

Key Events

Global Events
Local Events

1794 Founding of the Franklin Typographical Society, the first journeyman’s association in New York City

1850 Unions and workers’ organizations establish the city’s Industrial Congress to coordinate labor action

1886 American Federation of Labor (AFL) founded in Ohio

1900 International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) founded in New York City

1903 Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) founded to forge cross-class coalition on labor issues

1909 “Uprising of the 20,000” shirtwaist workers’ strike lasts 11 weeks

1910 “Revolt of the 60,000” cloak makers’ strike lasts eight weeks

1911 Fire at Triangle Waist Company takes 146 lives

1920 Creation of the Garment District in Midtown Manhattan

1920 “Red Scare” leads to arrests and deportations of leftists and labor leaders

1920 “Red Scare” leads to arrests and deportations of leftists and labor leaders

1935 National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act guarantees the right to join unions and bargain collectively

Key Events

1794 Founding of the Franklin Typographical Society, the first journeyman’s association in New York City
1850
Unions and workers’ organizations establish the city’s Industrial Congress to coordinate labor action
1886
American Federation of Labor (AFL) founded in Ohio
1900 International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) founded in New York City
1903
Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) founded to forge cross-class coalition on labor issues
1909
“Uprising of the 20,000” shirtwaist workers’ strike lasts 11 weeks
1910
“Revolt of the 60,000” cloak makers’ strike lasts eight weeks
1911 Fire at Triangle Waist Company takes 146 lives
1920 Creation of the Garment District in Midtown Manhattan
1920
“Red Scare” leads to arrests and deportations of leftists and labor leaders
1920
“Red Scare” leads to arrests and deportations of leftists and labor leaders
1935
National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act guarantees the right to join unions and bargain collectively