Child Labor Child Labor in America 1908-1912 Photographs of Lewis W. Hine About Lewis Hine His first photo essay featured Ellis Island immigrants. In 1908, Hine left his teaching position for a full-time job as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, which was then conducting a major campaign against the exploitation of American children. From 1908 to 1912, Hine took his camera across America to photograph children as young as three years old working for long hours, often under dangerous conditions, in factories, mines, and fields. Hine was an immensely talented photographer who viewed his young subjects with the eye of a humanitarian. In 1909, he published the first of many photo essays depicting working children at risk. In these photographs, the essence of wasted youth is apparent in the sorrowful and even angry faces of his subjects. Some of his images, such as the young girl in the mill glimpsing out the window, are among the most famous photographs ever taken. Faces of the Lost Youth Furman Owens, 12-years-old. Can't read. Doesn't know his A,B,C's. Said, "Yes I want to learn but can't when I work all the time." Been in the mills 4 years, 3 years in the Olympia Mill. Adolescent girls from Bibb Mfg. Co. in Macon, Georgia. Doffer boys. Macon, Georgia. Newsies A small newsie downtown on a Saturday afternoon. St. Louis, Missouri. A group of newsies selling on the Capitol steps. Tony, age 8, Dan, 9, Joseph, 10, and John, age 11. Washington, D.C. Out after midnight selling extras. There were many young boys selling very late. Youngest boy in the group is 9 years old. Harry, age 11, Eugene and the rest were a little older. Washington, D.C. Mid - Newsboy asleep on stairs with papers. Jersey City, New Jersey. Right - Michael McNelis, age 8, a newsboy [with photographer Hine]. This boy has just recovered from his second attack of pneumonia. Was found selling papers in a big rain storm. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Left:Francis Lance, 5 years old, 41 inches high. He jumps on and off moving trolley cars at the risk of his life. St. Louis, Missouri. Mid Fighting is not unusual here. In the alley, 4 p.m. Rochester, New York. Right - Where the newsboy's money goes (an ice cream vendor). Wilmington, Delaware. MINERS View of the Ewen Breaker of the Pennsylvania Coal Co. The dust was so dense at times as to obscure the view. This dust penetrated the utmost recesses of the boys' lungs. A kind of slave-driver sometimes stands over the boys, prodding or kicking them into obedience. South Pittston, Pennsylvania. Breaker boys. Smallest is Angelo Ross. Pittston, Pennsylvania. A young driver in the Brown Mine. Has been driving one year. Works 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Brown, West Virginia. Seafood workers Shrimp pickers, including little 8-year-old Max on the right. Biloxi, Mississippi. Hiram Pulk, age 9, working in a canning company. "I ain't very fast only about 5 boxes a day. They pay about 5 cents a box," he said. Eastport, Maine. Cutting fish in a sardine cannery. Large sharp knives are used with a cutting and sometimes chopping motion. The slippery floors and benches and careless bumping into each other increase the liability of accidents. "The salt water gets into the cuts and they ache," said one boy. Eastport, Maine. Manuel the young shrimp picker, age 5, and a mountain of child labor oyster shells behind him. He worked last year. Understands not a word of English. Biloxi, Mississippi. Variety of Jobs Bowling Alley boys. Many of them work setting pins until past midnight. New Haven, Connecticut. A Bowery bootblack in New York City. Three young boys with shovels standing in doorway of a Fort Worth & Denver train car. Young boys working for Hickok Lumber Co. Burlington, Vermont. Pastimes Messengers absorbed in their usual game of poker in the "Den of the terrible nine" (the waiting room for Western Union Messengers, Hartford, Connecticut). They play for money. Some lose a whole month's wages in a day and then are afraid to go home. The boy on the right has been a messenger for 4 years. Began at 12 years of age. He works all night now. During an evening's conversation he told me stories about his experiences with prostitutes to whom he carries messages frequently. A group of newsies playing craps in the jail alley at 10 p.m. Albany, New York. Richard Pierce, age 14, a Western Union Telegraph Co. messenger. Nine months in service, works from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Smokes and visits houses of prostitution. Wilmington, Delaware.