New York Vacations

Mass Immigration

During the second half of the century, immigrants flooded in to New York in search of a new life. They came from Ireland and Germany as always but now also from Italy. Russia, Poland and Hungary. The first major wave “of Jewish settlers arrived in the eighties. Over 2 million newcomers landed in New York between 1885 and 1895, welcomed (after 1886) by the newly inaugurated Statue of Liberty (see p. 70). For the first time Congress imposed limits on immigration, banning Chinese, sick people, madmen and anarchists.

Adequate housing for the constantly expanding working population was a great problem. A subsidized housing programme was launched but could hardly begin to deal with the situation. The new middle class moved to West Side neighbourhoods near Central Park, and the El or elevated train was built to serve these districts. In 1870 construction started on a bridge to connect New York and Brooklyn, by then a town in its own right.

New York Vacations Photo Gallery

The invention of the elevator made it possible to put up skyscrapers” eight or ten stories high. There was a. new vogue for department stores. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone in New York in May of 1877. By October there were already 252 subscribers and the first New York telephone directory ap- 17 peared. Electric lights were installed in many new buildings.


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