Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Timeline
Timeline Home Page
home
Progressive Era to New Era
Cities During the Progressive Era
Photo Collage of New York City in the Early 1900s

Mass movement into U.S. cities in the late 1800s once prompted Horace Greeley to remark that "We cannot all live in cities, yet nearly all seem determined to do so." Among major U.S. cities in the early 1900s, none experienced more growth than New York City. By 1910, the population of New York City swelled to over three million people. Large cities offered both improved and decreased quality of life to their residents. To the middle and upper classes, the cities provided for enriched lives. To the lower class, which generally was made up of minority groups, recently arrived immigrants, and people who had moved to the city from the country, life was oftentimes far from good.

The following photos were taken in New York City in the early 1900s. What differences do you observe in the photos? What statements about life in the city does each of the photos make? From looking at these photos, how do you think the lives of the middle and upper classes differed from the lives of the lower classes in New York City during this period of time?

Click on the photographs for a larger picture. View additional images on this topic from Detroit Publishing Company. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this page.


Dakota apartment house

Dakota Apartment House, ca. 1905-1915

laundry on line

A Monday Night Washing, 107th Street, 1900

lower east side

Lower East Side Ghetto, 1909

Sixth Avenue

Shoppers on Sixth Avenue, 1903

attic home

Family in Attic Home with Drying Laundry, ca. 1900-1910

Italian neighborhood

Italian Neighborhood, Mulberry Street, ca. 1900-1910


top of page


View additional photographs on this topic from Detroit Publishing Company. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this page.