Looking at these images I can say it’s the dark era of America for children were child labor is rampant in early 1900s until they eliminate it in 1938. But it’s still very common in other parts of the world.
National Child Labor Committee was founded in 1904 their mission is “promoting the rights, awareness, dignity, well-being and education of children and youth as they relate to work and working”. In 1908 the Committee hired Lewis W. Hine to carry out investigative and photographic work. And later he called it “detective work”. His work shows the pain, the hardships and the life threatening of children working in mills, textile, plantations and more. Some kids as early as 4 years old already work in these dangerous environment. You can’t imagine how a young body can take all the harmful things that even an adult can’t withstand.
Fortunately this era had already passed and child labor in America is a thing of the past. But with respect to those kids in that time, it’s a reminder for everyone how dreadful they’ve been and it should STOP not just in America but in the entire world!
Fourteen year old spinner in a Brazos Valley Cotton Mill at West. Violation of the law. Matty Lott runs six sides. See family group and their story. Location: West, Texas.
Rural Accident. Twelve-year old Clinton Stewart and his mowing machine which cut off his hand.
Callie Campbell, 11 years old, picks 75 to 125 pounds of cotton a day, and totes 50 pounds of it when sack gets full. “No, I don’t like it very much.” Location: Potawotamie County, Oklahoma.
Some of the cartooners, not the youngest, at Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #2. Location: Eastport, Maine
On the tipple at the Bessie Mine, Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Co. These young boys work around and on these coal cars, loaded and empty, while they are running at full speed. It is dangerous. One of these boys said, “Ain’t hardly a day goes by that someone don’t get pinched or hurt.” “I got my leg jammed a while ago and was laid up a week.” Location: Bessie Mine, Alabama.
Waiting all alone in the dark for a trip to come through. It was so damp that Willie said he had to be doctoring all the time for his cough. A short distance from here, the gas was pouring into the mine so rapidly that it made a great torch when the foreman lit it. Willie had been working here for four months, 500 feet down the shaft, and a quarter of a mile underground from there. (Shaft #6 Pennsylvania Coal Co.) Walls have been whitewashed to make it lighter. January 16th, I found Willie at home sick, His mother admitted that he is only 13 yrs old; will be 14 next July. Said that 4 mos. ago the mine boss told the father to take Willie to work, and that they obtained the certificate from Squire Barrett. (The only thing the Squire could do was to make Willie out to be 16 yrs old.) Willie’s father and brother are miners and the home is that of a frugal German family. Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania.
The dust was so dense at times as to obscure the view. This dust penetrates the utmost recess of the boy’s lungs. Location: South Pittston, Pennsylvania.
Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania.
3 brothers, Salvatore, 9 yrs. (in front), Joseph, 11 yrs. (cripple), Lewis, 13 yrs. (between these 2). “We would be murdered if we shop craps.” Boy at left sold me pair of dice for 2 c[en]ts. – what he would have to pay for more. Location: Jersey City, New Jersey.
There boys looked under 14. Work was slack and youngsters were not being employed much. Labor told me in busy times many small boys and girls are employed. Youngsters all smoke. Location: Tampa, Florida.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts.
He was 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. On account of the intense darkness in the mine, the hieroglyphics on the door were not visible until plate was developed. Location: West Virginia.
Jo Benevidos, 5 Merion St. Curled up in a doffing box, eating his lunch. Location: Fall River, Massachusetts.
Manuel 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.
Nannie Coleson, looper who said she was 11 years old, and has been working in the Crescent Hosiery Mill for some months. Makes about $3 a week. Has been through the 5th grade in school. She is bright, but unsophisticated. Told investigator, “There are other little girls in the mill too. One of them, says she’s 13, but she doesn’t look any older than me.” Location: Scotland Neck, North Carolina.
Union Hospital case – Estelle Poiriere, 137 Robeson St., 15 years old. Doffer at Granite No. 1 mill. Laceration of index and middle finger of right hand. Caught in card machine. Injured Dec. 21, 1915 and finger grew stiff and had to have cord cut. Still an outpatient in June and not working yet. Location: Fall River, Massachusetts.
Sweeper and Doffer Boys, Lancaster Mills (Cotton). S.C. Many more as small. Location: Lancaster, South Carolina.
Ivey Mill, Hickory, N.C. Little one, 3 years old, who visits and plays in the mill. Daughter of the overseer. Location: Hickory, North Carolina.
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” worming and suckering, and that they are as steady as a grown-up. Location: Warren County –Albaton, Kentucky
Some boys were so small they had to climb up on the spinning frame to mend the broken threads and put back the empty bobbins. Location: Macon, Georgia.
Boys working in Maple Mill, Dillon, S.C. Pete Dunlap (smaller). Said 11 years old. Mannings Dunlap. Both doff-40 cents a day. Location: Dillon, South Carolina