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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Lewis Wickes Hine and Child Labor

Yesterday I featured a small sampling of photos from the Library of Congress Collection. Today, I want to point out a book in our collection that contains the photos of Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940) along with commentary. Hine's camera was a major force in getting child labor laws enacted and enforced in the United States. The old adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words," was certainly the truth in the changes in labor law.

The Newbury Award winning writer for children, Russell Freedman, wrote Kids at Work : Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor [J 331.3 FRE, we also have a copy in our adult section 331.3 FRE]. In it he wrote,
Seeing is believing, said Hine. If people could see for themselves the abuses and injustice of child labor, surely they would demand laws to end those evils. His pictures of sooty-faced boys in coal mines and small girls tending giant machines revealed a shocking reality that most American had never seen before.


  1. This heartbreaking issue was still alive during the era I write about. Anyone who doubts the necessity for government regulation should look into the faces of these children.

  2. Exactly, right, Shelley!