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Old 01-15-2010, 11:23 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
3,091 posts, read 2,831,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeisSweet View Post
...
While reading the book I was really surprised at how different Chicago at the turn of the century was. It seemed dirty and disgusting and not a place that I would ever want to move to.
...
Cities were considered dirty and bad for health for a long time. Some still are. Using cleaner fuels for heat, paved roads, factories moved into less-dense areas all have helped cities seem cleaner.

The countryside was no picnic in the old days either, mind you.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:36 AM
 
1,788 posts, read 4,120,396 times
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If you want an idea of what American cities were like at the turn of the century, just look at Chinese or other cities in developing nations today. Not entirely an apple-apple comparison, but the loose environmental and working regulations are certainly a problem.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:48 AM
 
65 posts, read 152,152 times
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Thanks for all of the help everyone! I will for sure check out some of those places.

And I was thinking about the Chinese comparison while reading The Jungle too. You hear of poor rural Chinese moving to cities like Shanghai to get a high paying job. Only to find that they are working for something like a dollar a day in a factory owned by Walmart or something.

The comparison of the United States at the turn of the 20th century and China today are extremely striking in their similarities. Remember the lead poisoning of toys? Kind of an eerily coincidence to the meat in The Jungle. The poor production, public outcry...

Just something to think about.

Last edited by JoeisSweet; 01-16-2010 at 12:51 AM.. Reason: Spelling.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:20 AM
 
9,090 posts, read 10,713,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by via chicago View Post
Not entirely an apple-apple comparison, but the loose environmental and working regulations are certainly a problem.
In general, it is nowhere near as bad.

Added to all the industrial pollution at the beginning last century was the use of the horse and buggy which let to tons of pollution deposited on the streets.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:28 AM
 
9,090 posts, read 10,713,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeisSweet View Post
I just got done reading "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair.

The book takes place in Chicago at around the turn of the 20th century on the south side. Specifically the Union Stock Yards.
It is a good read.

However, there are a number of criticisms of The Jungle on the internet that are available.

Also, do some research on Upton Sinclair, he is an interesting character. Many believe that he was trying to write the equivalent of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" trying to spur higher wages. I think he was disappointed that the main result of the book was pure food and drug laws as opposed to higher minimum wage laws.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:33 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 3,388,809 times
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There was a short cut path that my mother would take heading south on halsted from the northside. This was in the late sixties or so. It would wind through the back of the stockyards and I clearly remember the smell and also was fascinated by the history as a small child.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:53 PM
 
Location: South Side
3,554 posts, read 6,357,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
It is a good read.

However, there are a number of criticisms of The Jungle on the internet that are available.

Also, do some research on Upton Sinclair, he is an interesting character. Many believe that he was trying to write the equivalent of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" trying to spur higher wages. I think he was disappointed that the main result of the book was pure food and drug laws as opposed to higher minimum wage laws.
Upton Sinclair also ran for office a couple of times. I did read his book and I saw echoes of it in Farrell's "Studs Lonigan", about ethnic tensions in Chicago and life around the stockyards.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:20 PM
 
22 posts, read 74,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by via chicago View Post
To this day there is still 7-8 feet of animal biomass at the bottom of the creek
Today the creek is quite serene with upscale houses recent constructed off its banks:

http://il.water.usgs.gov/data/cwo/ph...rt Village.JPG

I've heard from locals that it still smells during hot summer days.
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