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:
October 1913. Houston, Texas. Curtin Hines. Western Union messenger #36. Fourteen years old. Goes to school. Works from 4 to 8 p.m. Been with Western Union for six months, one month delivering for a drug store. "I learned a lot about the 'Reservation' [Red Light] while I was at the drug store and I go there sometimes now." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.
May 1910. Wilmington, Delaware. "James Lequlla, newsboy, age 12. Selling newspapers 3 years. Average earnings 50 cents per week. Selling newspapers own choice. Earnings not needed at home. Don't smoke. Visits saloons. Works 7 hours per day." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.