Monday, March 27, 2023
HomeAbandonedHow The ‘Other Half’ Lived In New York Back In The 1800s

How The ‘Other Half’ Lived In New York Back In The 1800s

America is known as the land of opportunity since it has generated life-changing possibilities for people all around the world. In the 1890s, a lot of people migrated to New York, in hopes of changing their lives for the better in the US. But this rallying up of expatriates caused overpopulation and bad living conditions.

Jacob Riis, a young man from Denmark, is one of those who travelled to America in pursuit of a better life. In 1870, he arrived in New York with only $40 in his pockets. Thousands of other individuals seeking work in New York have produced an overcrowded environment where jobs and living conditions are practically deplorable.

Riis had set off New York with aspirations of becoming a carpenter. But the circumstances made him resort to one of the most undesired accommodations and a set of odd jobs just to get by. But luckily he landed a job as a training journalist at ‘New York News Association’ while he was struggling in New York. Quickly, he picked up the job and made his position as a skilled journalist, and was known in many newspapers.

He utilized his occupation to tell his narrative and describe how immigrants in New York at the time lived in deplorable conditions. Using cutting-edge technology at the time, Riis documented the narrative with a camera that captured the lives of the immigrants better than words could. He was able to record the dark and badly lighted nighttime in New York, where the hard lives were exposed, using ‘flash’ technology.

More info & Photo courtesy: Museum Syndicate


Portrait of Jacob A. Riis.


The Baby’s Playground


“Police Station Lodger, A Plank for a Bed”


Blind Beggar.


Family Making Artificial Flowers.


Girl and a Baby on a Doorstep.


The Short Tail Gang Under a Pier.


“Bandit’s Roost”.


Boys from the Italian Quarter


Five Cents Lodging, Bayard Street.


Home of an Italian Ragpicker.


In the Sun Office, 3 AM.


Minding Baby, Cherry Hill.


Children’s Playground in Poverty Cap, New York.


Pupils in the Essex Market Schools in a Poor Quarter of New York.


“Twelve-Year-Old Boy Pulling Threads in a Sweat Shop”


An Old Rear Tenement in Roosevelt Street.


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