Between 1890 and 1910, Cleveland’s population grew from 261,353 to 560,353, a 115 percent increase. While some growth came from annexations, the bulk represented an influx of immigrants and migrants who came to work in the city’s industries. Crowded into polluted urban neighborhoods, conditions were often appalling and unhealthy. George Bellamy, head of Hiram House Social Settlement, photographically documented the situation and used the images to raise support for his settlement house. His images form the core of this presentation by John Grabowski, CWRU’s Krueger-Mueller Joint Professor in History and Senior Historian at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Like those of Jacob Riis in New York they tell a story of urban America at the turn of the twentieth century, one that speaks clearly to the connection between environment and personal health.
This event is sponsored by the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center and is free with admission to the Center.