Speed Graphic camera: photojournalists' choice for decades / Here's WeeGee
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Riis was Danish and was impoverished when he came to NYC. As a photojournalist he was sympathetic to the immigrants struggling to find education and jobs while living in wretched tenements. His book on poverty in NYC, How the Other Half Lives, is a landmark work in US history.
Riis was a crusading journalist, unafraid to oppose the authorities and wealthy class. He was of a group called the muckrakers.
After the muckrakers stirred the public, legislators passed laws protecting Americans from abuses in
* child labor
* sanitary housing
* workplace safety
* safe medicine
* safe food
Riis was one of the first to use flash in photojournalism. He presented lectures across the nation to America's comfortable class on the deleterious effects of urban poverty.