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.
Vintage photos of:
May 1910. Wilmington, Delaware. "Louis Birch, 4th & Pine Streets. Newsboy, 12 years of age. Just started selling. Made 10 cents one day. Father dead. While not under any compulsion to sell papers, Louis, of his own accord, took it up in order to help support his widowed mother. Louis stays out until 12:30 every night and goes with his brother, Stanley, who is a messenger, on all calls because Stanley is afraid to be out on the street alone at night. Louis is clean, bright and willing. Visits saloons. Don’t smoke. Works 9 hours per day. Gives money to mother." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
May 1910. Wilmington, Delaware. "Frank F. Gibson, 1305 Linden Street. 14 years of age. Western Union Telegraph messenger No. 7. One year in service. Visits houses of prostitution. Guides soldiers to segregated district. Smokes. Still at school and works from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
May 21, 1910. "Joseph Severio, Peanut Vendor. Wilmington, Delaware. 11 years of age. Pushing cart 2 years. Out after midnight. Ordinarily works 6 hours per day. Works of own volition. Doesn't smoke. All earnings go to father." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.