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About the Photos

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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BUY WAR SAVINGS STAMPS, c. 1918

Lewis Hine

Raggedy Henry: 1912

Raggedy Henry: 1912

February 1912. "Henry, 10-year-old oyster shucker who does five pots of oysters a day. Works before school, after school, and Saturdays. Been working three years. Maggioni Canning Co., Port Royal, South Carolina." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.

 

Big & Tall: 1908

Big & Tall: 1908

December 1908. "Catawba Cotton Mills. Newton, N.C. It seems a pity that some of the spinning frames are so large that the children cannot operate them." Glass negative (and sardonic caption) by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Cutting Bee: 1912

Cutting Bee: 1912

November 1912. New York. "Family cutting embroidery in tiny crowded bed-room. (For complete details see Miss E.C. Watson's report.)" Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.

 

Warping Boy: 1908

Warping Boy: 1908

December 1908. "Boy at warping machine, Catawba Cotton Mill. Newton, North Carolina." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Liberty Garter: 1908

Liberty Garter: 1908

January 1908. New York. "Mrs. Finkelstein, 127 Monroe Street. Bessie (age 13), Sophie (age 7). Girls attend school. Making garters for Liberty Garter works, 413 Broadway. Mother, a widow, earns 75 cents a day by working all day until 12 at night. Bessie works until 10 p.m., Sophie until 9. They expected to work until 10 p.m. to finish the job, although they did not know when more work would come in. Witness Mrs. Hosford." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Work From Home: 1912

Work From Home: 1912

January 1912. "Tenement homework, New York, 309 W. 146th Street. Mrs. De Levo [?] and her 7-year-old daughter, Lorenza, embroidering ladies' waists in their dirty kitchen-living room. Lorenza makes the stems of the flowers. Her mother said, 'See how smart she is. I show her how and right away she makes them. She is so little because she's been sick so much.' She works after school. Father is out of a job. 'They pay too cheap for lace.' Said they make about $2 a week." Glass nega­tive by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.

 

First the Paperwork: 1913

First the Paperwork: 1913

June 1913. "Child Labor Scholarship. Boy securing his weekly allowance from the New York Child Labor Committee, that permits his presence in school." Is it hard to concentrate with the Internet staring at you? Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.

 
 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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