“How The Other Half Lives” Portrays the Lives of the Underprivileged in Late 1800s New York City

"Blind Beggar"

“Blind Beggar”

In the so-called Gilded Age–that is, the 1880s and 1890s–, a Danish immigrant by the name of Jacob Riis roamed the streets of New York City and portrayed the lives of its inhabitants, with a strong focus on those at the lower end of the social hierarchy. The cumulation of his work is the aptly titled book, “How the Other Half Lives,” published in 1890. The book and its photographs are available at the website of the Authentic History Center, which hosts numerous digital archives depicting American society throughout history.

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