Running time: 6:51
Jacob Riis delivered his first lecture, “How the Other Half Lives and Dies in New York,” on January 22, 1888, at the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York. Using an early form of projector known as a stereopticon to display images of the slum and its residents, Riis took his audience on a visual tour of the tenements. The lecture’s success resulted from his ability to entertain with colorful anecdotes while simultaneously delivering a spiritual message. Terry Borton of the American Magic-Lantern Theater has created the abridged version of the lecture playing here, which is based on a transcript of an illustrated talk Riis delivered in Washington, D.C., in 1891. This presentation was produced by the Museum of the City of New York for Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half (October 14, 2015–March 20, 2016).