Child Labor. Lewis Hine. The Quest.
Hine travelled the country taking pictures of children working in factories. In one 12 month period he covered over 12,000 miles. Hine worked for the National Child Labour Committee for eight years. Hine told one audience: "Perhaps you are weary of child labour pictures. Well, so are the rest of us, but we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child labour pictures will be records of the past.“
In 1916 Congress eventually agreed to pass legislation to protect children. As a result of the Keating-Owen Act, restrictions were placed on the employment of children aged under 14 in factories and shops.
One of the spinners in Whitnel Cotton Mill. She was 51 inches high. Has been in the mill one year. Sometimes works at night. Runs 4 sides - 48 cents a day. When asked how old she was, she hesitated, then said, "I don't remember," then added confidentially, "I'm not old enough to work, but do just the same." Out of 50 employees, there were ten children about her size.
The life of the newsie aged children prematurely. Getting up early, staying up late, most of them homeless and scrounging for nickels and dimes to survive, the 19th century newsboy got by on emulating adulthood.
Michael McNelis, age 8, a newsboy [seen with photographer Hine]. This boy has just recovered from his second attack of pneumonia. Was found selling papers in a big rain storm.
Work in the coal breakers is exceedingly hard and dangerous. Crouched over the chutes, the boys sit hour after hour, picking out the pieces of slate and other refuse from the coal as it rushes past to the washers. From the cramped position they have to assume, most of them become more or less deformed and bent-backed like old men. When a boy has been working for some time and begins to get round-shouldered, his fellows say that “He’s got his boy to carry round wherever he goes.”
At the close of day. Waiting for the cage to go up. The cage is entirely open on two sides and not very well protected on the other two, and is usually crowded like this. The small boy in front is Jo Puma.
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.
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.
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.
Three boys, one of 13 yrs., two of 14 yrs., picking shade-grown tobacco on Hackett Farm. The "first picking" necessitates a sitting posture. Buckland, Connecticut.