Samuel Sarphati: The founder of the new Amsterdam

Aerial view of Amsterdam and the Palace of National Industry , before 1929 (Wikipedia commons)

As a young Amsterdam physician of Portuguese and Spanish Jewish descent, Samuel Sarphati (1813-1866) worked early in his career to improve the living conditions of broad sections of the population in rapidly expanding 19th-century Amsterdam. He worked to bring about better hygiene, sanitation and nutrition for the masses. In his short life, Sarphati also used his enormous organisational talent to improve city planning, making a lasting impact on the Dutch capital. The building he will be most remembered for is his Palace of National Industry, built in the 1850’s and inspired by London’s Crystal Palace.

Producer: Bertine Krol

Broadcast: May 14, 2003