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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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Pittman Handle Factory: 1913

Pittman Handle Factory: 1913

September 1913. Denison, Texas. "Group outside Pittman Handle Factory. A 15-year-old boy operating a dangerous boring machine at which he said a boy recently bored half his hand off. To operate this machine (which bores a large hole in the spade handle) the boy has to throw his whole weight onto the lever which pushes the handle (and himself) up against the unprotected borer. A slip might easily result fatally. Boy earns $1.65 a day. This factory has a number of unprotected belts and dangerous machines. One other boy, about the age of this one, was doing all kinds of work, taking away the handles from a huge rip saw, etc., and constantly exposed to danger." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

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That poor kid.

He's got the look of someone that gets constant guff from those fine looking gentlemen standing around him. The day he becomes a man, is the day he turns around and tells Mr. Hands-on-his-hips where he can stick his handle.

The Handle Factory

I work in Denison and love this old town. Lots of great buildings and tons of history (especially with the Katy Railroad) I wonder where the "Pittman Handle Factory" was located, anyone know?

Also Ike's hometown

Denison is also Dwight Eisenhower's hometown. And US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's too.

Straw boater

I love the tall gangly gent in the straw boater. With his skinny arms resting on skinny hips, his torso jutting out, and his expression of general displeasure, he reminds me of a cross between Grant Wood's American Gothic farmer and Tom Joad as played by Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath. What a character he must have been.


......a great shot from my hometown. Thanks, Dave!

Ajdusted for Inflation

$1.65 in 1913 translates to about $35 in today's money. Not much, but at least they were probably paid with silver.

These boots are made for workin'

At least this lad had boots which offered some protection. Many turn of the century pictures of work places show these child workers barefoot.


When do these kids have time for their XBox?

Gross Caption Understatement

"Boy earns $1.65 a day."

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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