Tenement dwellers in Philadelphia sit or stand outside their houses, which open out onto a common courtyard. Laundry and bedding are set out to dry in the open air. A single hydrant, at the center of the courtyard, supplies water for nine small houses. This is one in a series of photographs that illustrates Emily W. Dinwiddie's Housing Conditions in Philadelphia (1904), a study conducted under the direction of the Octavia Hill Association, a private organization devoted to improving housing conditions for the poor. In her forty-two-page publication, Dinwiddie pointed out the lack of proper ventilation and sanitation in dwellings for Philadelphia's poorest residents.
Citation: Housing Conditions in Philadelphia. F221 v.421. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.