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Jacob Riis

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Jacob Riis

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  1. Jacob Riis By: Jennifer Martinez & Nathalie Flores

  2. Background • Jacob Riis was born in Ribe, Denmark in 1849, he immigrated to the United States in 1870 at the age of 21. • Riis was very poor and had various jobs until he became a police reporter for New York city’s lower east side. • Jacob Riis pioneered photojournalism, it wasn’t as common until he started doing it in 1887. • Riis had opportunities to work for Theodore Roosevelt but he turned them down to focus on improving New York living conditions for the poor.

  3. Context In 1890, he published “How the Other Half Lives” where he exposed New York city’s east lower side horrible living conditions in which the poor lived. He saw that there was overcrowding. A high rate of starvation and infant death. • The infant mortality rate started a long slide from 165 per 1,000 in 1900 (“Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy.” PBS,)

  4. Context Riis was a social reformer and made great efforts to improve the living conditions in New York. “During the 1890s Riis participated in many crusades to reconstruct the urban environment. He advised governmental officials, organized neighborhood clubs, and built up a settlement house that later bore his name.” (Lane,Jacob A. Riis and Scientific Philanthropy During the Progressive Era.) Riis believed that the gap between the lower class and upper class had an influence in the terrible living conditions.

  5. Reform Proposal • With the 500,000 we will make renovations in the apartment buildings that will improve the sanitation and the safety of the tenants. Improvements such as • More restrooms • Fire escapes • Ventilation • Waste disposal • The Tenement House Act of 1901 was set to improve living conditions including the poor ventilation of tenement buildings in the state of New York but it was enforced a decade after it was passed.

  6. What is Jacob Riis known for today? Jacob is mostlyknown for his • Photography • Reform movement • Journalism • “ How The Other Half Live”

  7. Was there anything controversial about their action/view • Jacob action and his view on the living conditions of the other side of the city was not controversial because he knew how it felt to live in the those condition. Which made him passionate to show/ expose the New York City's upper and middle class. Some people didn’t think it was wrong so there was no controversy but with his photo and book they agreed that the living conditions were bad.

  8. How popular was Jacob Riis Jacob Riis was popularbecause of his book “ How The Other Half Lives” and his photojournalism that allowed people to see how the other half of New York city was which was considered the “ ghetto” and to bring attention to the issue.

  9. What did Jacob Riis accomplish • Jacob Riis book “How the Other Half Lives” was a success and had an immediate impact on the society. Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, wanted to improved New york city so Riis and Roosevelt walked around New York, with Riis showing the bad conditions that so many people lived. Roosevelt was moved to close the worst of the city’s which he demanded that the city officials pass the first significant legislation to improve the state of affairs in immigrant neighborhoods which was the Tenement House Act.

  10. 2 Questions • Why did photojournalism have a big role in his work? • What do you think would have happen if the tenement house act of 1901 never passed?

  11. Sources Lane, James B. “Jacob A. Riis and Scientific Philanthropy During the Progressive Era.” Social Service Review, vol. 47, no. 1, 1973, pp. 32–48. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30020802. O'Donnell, Edward T. “Pictures vs. Words? Public History, Tolerance, and the Challenge of Jacob Riis.” The Public Historian, vol. 26, no. 3, 2004, pp. 7–26. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/tph.2004.26.3.7. Tuerk, Richard. “The Short Stories of Jacob A. Riis.” American Literary Realism, 1870-1910, vol. 13, no. 2, 1980, pp. 259–265. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27745953. “Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/fmc/timeline/dmortality.htm.