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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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A Little Spinner: 1909

A Little Spinner: 1909

January 1909. "A little spinner in Globe Cotton Mill. Augusta, Ga. The overseer admitted she was regularly employed." View full size. Lewis Wickes Hine.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Solemn Look

Definitely not what you should see when you look into the eyes of a child. I think I need to get the print of this to look at when I feel the need to complain about having a oh so tough day at work.

The Jungle

I just read The Jungle and I cried at the thought of a little one working the way this poor girl did. Her eyes are as close to crying without shedding a tear as I have ever seen.

I'm so thankful my daughter is able to play and be a child.


Many early textile mill workers developed byssinosis from breathing cotton dust thrown off by the machines. Probably especially bad for children.

Tough life

Spend your childhood working in a factory, then live through the depression and a war. I hope she lived long enough to see prosperity and grandchildren that didn't have to live the hard life she did.

What a life for one so young....

The pain in her eyes just haunts me... I don't imagine she ever got to be a child or play with dolls. So sad.

such a haunting face

Thank God we never new that life....

She looks exactly like my niece.

And this photo breaks my heart.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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