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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Young Pete: 1913

Young Pete: 1913

November 1913. Huntsville, Alabama. "Pete Henson, 414 C Street. Mother said he was 12 two months ago, but has been sweeping in the Merrimack Mill for seven months, so he began at 11 years. Brother Edward said to be 13 years, but doubtful. Mother said they had no Family Record here and gave me ages from memory." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Sad little boy

Some of the kids in the child labor photos on this site have a hard and flinty look in their eyes. This one looks like life has already broken him.

Pete and C Street

I live in Huntsville. I am going to look for the memory of Pete Henson at 414 C Street.

It is what it is...

No self-pity, my name is Pete,
If I don't work, then I don't eat.

Hello, Pete

Such haunting eyes. I'm honored to make your acquaintance.

Poor Pete

I remember being so proud at age 13 when I secured a paper route for my hometown weekly. I delivered 100 papers twice a week and considered it hard work. Poor Pete, he knew real work at an early age. No lighthearted fun for him. What a grim life!

Reality check

I am going to stop whining about what I percieve to be my my own financial woes now.

The view from 2009

The sobering thing is that those kids were working to make sure the family ate. Computer games, cars and the latest phone fad were still some way off.

He might be right this time...

Mr. Hine was frequently skeptical about the ages of the kids in his pictures and was frequently wrong about it.

I think he's right to doubt this kid. Even taking into account poor nutrition, etc. The boy only looks about 9 or 10 to me.

Can we really imagine what it means?

I could cry if I see pitures like this one. Children without childhood. Thanks for all the great photos (watching since more than two 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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