Photos Of Child Labor Between 1908 And 1916 in the USA
August 15, 2013 7:11 AM   Subscribe

A photograph of breaker boys that changed history for millions of kids in America, who worked grueling lives as child laborers. What Charles Dickens did with words for the underage toilers of London, Lewis Hine did with photographs for the youthful laborers in the United States. Library of Congress collection of over 5,000 Lewis Hine child labor photos. Kentucky 1916. Previously.

> In 1908 the National Child Labor Committee was already campaigning to put the nation’s two million young workers back in school when the group hired Hine. The Wisconsin native traveled to half the states, capturing images of children working in mines, mills and on the streets. Here he has photographed “breaker boys,” whose job was to separate coal from slate, in South Pittston, Pa. Once again, pictures swayed the public in a way cold statistics had not, and the country enacted laws banning child labor.

Index of some of the stories of child laborers: cannery workers | Southern Textile Mills | newsboys, newsgirls and other street trades | coal mines and glass factories | farm work

The Lewis Hine folders of photographs of the various types of work children did.

The Lewis Hine Project at the Mornings On Maple Street blog

Massachusetts man searches for stories behind century-old child labor photos

U.S. Child Labor, 1908-1920

Bonus links: Lewis Hine's amazing pics of work on the Empire State Building and a little compilation of his best of pics.
posted by nickyskye (5 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Yankee Magazine has a more local and in-depth version of the CBS article ("Massachusetts man searches for stories...").
posted by cribcage at 7:19 AM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

In case anyone's tempted to think that child labor laws are a thing of America's past, this issue is still going on today, where the early 20th-c. excesses of urban industrial child labor are projected onto the rural farming sphere: e.g., "Pitting Child Safety Against the Family Farm." There was always a commonsense distinction at the height of the Industrial Revolution between children working with machinery in the cities and children working on the farm. But today so much of farm work is mechanized, so there is a push to extend labor laws to the farm as well.
posted by resurrexit at 7:36 AM on August 15, 2013

In case anyone is going to be in NYC in October, the International Center of Photography is going to be having a Lewis Hine exhibit opening October 4th.
posted by inertia at 7:59 AM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Shorpy posts a lot of child labor pictures.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:39 AM on August 15, 2013

It always blew my mind that my great great aunt had to drop out of school in second grade to go work in the ?seamstress? factory. She wound up becoming an amazing seamstress but the cost is mind boggling :(
posted by Librarygeek at 7:15 AM on August 16, 2013

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