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June 24, 2013

Old Photos of Child Labors From the Early 20th Century

Working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Lewis Hine (1874-1940) portrayed working and living conditions of children in the United States from between 1908 and 1924.

The Library of Congress’ National Child Labor Committee Collection includes more than 5,100 photographs that came with the records of the organization. Many of the pictures are familiar, but others are relatively unexplored. Accompanying original captions, often rich with detail, offer clues for learning more about individuals, places, and work environments from a hundred years ago.

Vance, a Trapper Boy, 15 years old. Has trapped for several years in a West Va. Coal mine. $.75 a day for 10 hours work. All he does is to open and shut this door: most of the time he sits here idle, waiting for the cars to come ... (LOC)

The "Manly art of self-defense" Newsboys' Protective Association. Location: Cincinnati, Ohio. (LOC)

Marie Costa, Basket Seller, 605 Elm St., Sixth St. Market, Cincinnati. 9 P.M. Had been there since 10 A.M. Sister and friend help her. Location: Cincinnati, Ohio. (LOC)

Glass works. Midnight. Location: Indiana. (LOC)

A Little "Shaver," Indianapolis Newsboy, 41 inches high. Said he was 6 years old. Aug., 1908. Wit., E. N. Clopper. Location: Indianapolis, Indiana. (LOC)

Lunch Time, Economy Glass Works, Morgantown, W. Va. Plenty more like this, inside. Location: Morgantown, West Virginia. (LOC)

Tenjeta Calone, Philadelphia, 10 years old. Been picking cranberries 4 years. White's Bog, Browns Mills, N.J. ... (LOC)

Messenger boy working for Mackay Telegraph Company. Said fifteen years old. Exposed to Red Light dangers. Location: Waco, Texas. (LOC)

Albernesi Family, 126 W. Eagle St. Left to right: Frank Albernesi, 5 years old. Libori Albernesi, 15 years old, Joseph Albernesi, 13 years old. Family goes to country in summer to pick fruit. Location: Buffalo, New York (State) (LOC)

Charlie Foster has a steady job in the Merrimack Mills. School Record says he is now ten years old. His father told me that he could not read, and still he is putting him into the mill. See Hine report. Location: Huntsville, Alabama. (LOC)

Four-year-old Mary, who shucks two pots of oysters a day at Dunbar. Tends the baby when not working ... Location: Dunbar, Louisiana (LOC)

Little Fannie, 7 years old, 48 inches high, helps sister in Elk Mills. Her sister (in photo) said, "Yes, she he'ps me right smart. Not all day but all she can. Yes, she started with me at six this mornin'." ... Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee (LOC)

Newsie, "flipping cars". Location: Boston, Massachusetts. (LOC)

Boys picking over garbage on "the Dumps." Boston. See 906-907. Location: Boston, Massachusetts. (LOC)

Pin boys in Les Miserables Alleys ... Location: Lowell, Massachusetts (LOC)

2 newsgirls. Location: Wilmington, Delaware. (LOC)

Young Cigarmakers in Englahardt & Co., Tampa, Fla. ... (LOC)

Eagle and Phoenix Mill. "Dinner-toters" waiting for the gate to open. ... Location: Columbus, Georgia (LOC)

Manuel, the young shrimp-picker, five years old, and a mountain of child-labor oyster shells behind him. He worked last year. Understands not a word of English. Dunbar, Lopez, Dukate Company. Location: Biloxi, Mississippi. (LOC)

11:30 A.M. Jennie Rizzandi, 9 year old girl, helping mother and father finish garments in a dilapidated tenement, 5 Extra Pl., N.Y.C. ... (LOC)

Brown McDowell 12 year old usher in Princess Theatre. Works from 10 A.M. tp 10 P.M. Can barely read; has reached the second grade in school only. Investigator reports little actual need for earnings. Location: Birmingham, Alabama. (LOC)

Only 5 pupils present out of about 40 expected when beet work is over. School #1, Dist. 3, Ft. Morgan, Colo. Oct. 26/15 (LOC)

Interior of tobacco shed, Hawthorn Farm. Girls in foreground are 8, 9, and 10 years old. The 10 yr. old makes 50 cents a day. 12 workers on this farm are 8 to 14 years old, and about 15 are over 15 yrs. Location: Hazardville, Connecticut. (LOC)

Rhodes Mfg. Co., Lincolnton, N.C. Spinner. A moments glimpse of the outer world Said she was 10 years old. Been working over a year. Location: Lincolnton, North Carolina. (LOC)

Group of Breaker Boys in #9 Breaker, Hughestown Borough, Pennsylvania Coal Co. Smallest boy is Angelo Ross (see photos and labels #1953 & #1954). Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania. (LOC)

The "Kinleygarten" (the mill Policeman called it) at Lynchburg (Va.) Cotton Mills ... (LOC)

Shanties and cooking shacks on berry farm of Bottomley's, near Baltimore. Md. At times, four families live in one shanty: three families is the rule--two rooms. (See report July 10, 1909.) Location: Baltimore, Maryland. (LOC)

A young oyster fisher [?] Others smaller employed in busy season ... Location: Apalachicola, Florida (LOC)

Where the boys spend their money. Location: St. Louis, Missouri. (LOC)

Some samples (not all) of the children in the "Kindergarten Factory" run by the High Point and Piedmont Hosiery Mills ... Location: High Point, North Carolina (LOC)

(For Child Welfare Exhibit 1912-13.) Shooting craps, Providence, R.I. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. (LOC)

[The 8 and 10 yr. old children here are working beets on a farm near Sterling, Colo, from 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. on rush days. Father said, "We have to get done."]. Location: [Sterling vicinity, Colorado] (LOC)

Morris Levine, 212 Park Street. 11 years old and sells papers every day--been selling five years. Makes 50 cents Sundays and 30 cents other days. Location: Burlington, Vermont (LOC)

Amos is 6 and Horace 4 years old. Their father, John Neal is a renter and raises tobacco. He said (and the owner of the land confirmed it) that both these boys work day after day from "sun-up to sun-down" ...Location: Warren County--Albaton, Kentucky (LOC)

5:00 A.M. Sunday May 8th, 1910. Starting out with papers from McIntyres Branch. Chestnut & 16th Sts.,. Location: St. Louis, Missouri. (LOC)

Exhibit panel. (LOC)

[Street gang - cor[ner] Margaret & Water Streets - 4:30 P.M.] Location: Springfield, Massachusetts. (LOC)

This little girl like many others in this state is so small she has to stand on a box to reach her machine ... Location: Loudon, Tennessee (LOC)

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E. N. Clopper. Location: Indianapolis, Indiana. (LOC)

Josie, six year old, Bertha, six years old, Sophie, 10 years old, all shuck regularly. Maggioni Canning Co. Location: Port Royal, South Carolina. (LOC)

Nan de Gallant, 4 Clark St., Eastport, Maine, 9 year old cartoner, Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #2 ... (LOC)

Part of a group of itinerant cotton pickers leaving a farm at which they had finished picking a bale and a half a day... Location: McKinney, Texas (LOC)

Freddie Kafer, a very immature little newsie selling Saturday Evening Posts and newspapers at the entrance to the State Capitol.... Sacramento, California (LOC)

Jewel and Harold Walker, 6 and 5 years old, pick 20 to 25 pounds of cotton a day ... Location: Comanche County ... Oklahoma (LOC)

Colored School at Anthoston. Census 27, enrollment 12, attendance 7. Teacher expects 19 to be enrolled after work is over. "Tobacco keeps them out and they are short of hands."... Location: Henderson County, Kentucky (LOC)

Folding filing-folders. Boston Index Card Co., 113 Purchase Street. Boston, Mass. Location: Boston, Massachusetts (LOC)

Bundle boy. Location: St. Louis, Missouri. (LOC)

A 9 year old boy, Jo Cafarella, 39 Warren Street, Somerville, Mass ... (LOC)

Bootblacks in and around City Hall Park, New York City - July 25, 1924. Location: New York, New York (State) (LOC)

(Photos: The Library of Congress)


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