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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Cigar Box Boy: 1909

Cigar Box Boy: 1909

January 1909. "One of several youngsters I found in Tampa Cigar Box Factory. They are reported to have many children when work is rushing. About 10 young boys and girls, 300 employees." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


Yeah, he looks absolutely miserable!

It never ceases to amaze me how persistent the social movement against child labor was at this time. So many of these marvelous vignettes of industrial and commercial activity on Shorpy would simply never have existed without this motivation. At the very least, the child in the cigar factory was actually producing a real product of value and not working in a cubicle shuffling paper.

I agree

That happy face warms my heart. He reminds me of my own son.

What a grin

For all the Hines pics that have children with the most haunting looks on their faces, this kid seems like he is beaming with pride to be able to have his picture taken.

It kind of reminds me of Eddie Lou Young and her impish grin.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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