SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Bedspring Boys: 1917

Bedspring Boys: 1917

Boston, Massachusetts. January 25, 1917. "Boys linking bed-springs. 14 and 15 years old." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

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Are those some kind of 'pull-on' sleeves the one boy is wearing? Probably adds a little protection from wire cuts.

[Those are armbands. - Dave]

Silver Platter

I too do not believe in child labor as it was then but I'm not crazy about the silver platter so many "apprentice adults" are handed now either. There's plenty of safe, necessary work to be done around any home and too many parents who don't recognize the value to the child of contributing to the ongoing of home and family. For these children, labor was often a substitute for school and that is truly sad.

Thank you for continuing to remind us of what it was like those many years ago.

Child labour

It is so interesting to see people that age working that hard. This is a great insight to how much life has changed in the past 90 years.

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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