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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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A Boy's Life: 1924

A Boy's Life: 1924

Circa 1924. "Boy with mechanical toy" by Lewis Wickes Hine, taken after his epic, decade-long assignment for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Lewis Hine Later

The website has about a thousand pictures by Hine that are not about child labor.


In Europe it was Meccano. The parts were green or red.

Erector Sets

"I wish my five year old nephew had something that constructive to look forward to"

Erector Sets are still exported by Meccano/Nikko Group to North America.

Lewis Hine

He was also the official photographer during the construction of the Empire State Building in the early 1930's.

Hine's later years

I guess I've always thought about Hine in terms of the child labor photos and had no idea he had a later career, kind of dumb of me now that I think about it. What did he do later?

During the Depression he worked for the Red Cross photographing drought relief in the South, and for the Tennessee Valley Authority documenting life in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. He also served as chief photographer for the Works Progress Administration's National Research Project.

[Wikipedia link. - Dave]

In Canada

In Canada we had Meccano instead of Erector. Much the same principle but older and British (and thus favoured under the tariff structure when I was growing up). I wish my five year old nephew had something that constructive to look forward to instead of the pre-packaged, pre-imagined stuff that even Lego has become.

Erector set

Amazing but that looks almost exactly like the Erector set I had in the late 50s. Making a crane/derrick was very fun.

Erector set

is what he seems to be playing with.

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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