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:
March 15, 1917. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "Manley Creasson [Creason], 914 West Sixth Street. Messenger #6, MacKay Telegraph Co. Says he is 14; school records say 13. Says he has steady job -- 'Been a messenger for years. Get $15 for 2 weeks' pay'." Silver gelatin print by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
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.
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.
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.