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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Lewis Hine

Industrious George: 1909

Industrious George: 1909

November 1909. "These boys work off and on in Cumberland Glass Works, Bridgeton, N.J. Smallest boy is George Cartwright, 401 N. Laurel Street. He says been working off and on since 11 years old." Photo by Lewis Hine. View full size.

 

Hard Worker: 1913

Hard Worker: 1913

        The incorrigibly industrious Eugene Dalton 100 years ago -- we last saw him in 2007, in the second photo ever posted on Shorpy.

November 1913. Fort Worth, Texas. "Some results of messenger and newsboy work. For nine years this 16-year-old boy has been newsboy and messenger for drug stores and telegraph companies. He was recently brought before the Judge of the Juvenile Court for incorrigibility at home. Is now out on parole, and was working again for drug company when he got a job carrying grips in the Union Depot. He is on the job from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M. (seventeen hours a day) for seven days in the week. His mother and the Judge think he uses cocaine, and yet they let him put in these long hours every day. He told me 'There ain't a house in "The Acre" [Red Light] that I ain't been in. At the drug store, all my deliveries were down there.' Says he makes from $15 to $18 a week. Eugene Dalton." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Bottomley's Berry Farm: 1909

Bottomley's Berry Farm: 1909

July 1909. "Mrs. Bissie and family (Polish). Bottomley Farm, Rock Creek. They all work in the berry fields near Baltimore in summer and have worked at Biloxi, Mississippi, for two years." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Brother Red: 1915

Brother Red: 1915

May 1915. "Nine-year-old newsie and his 7-year-old brother 'Red.' Tough specimen of Los Angeles newsboys." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Play Ball: 1912

Play Ball: 1912

May 1912. "Some of the boys working in the Saxon Mill. Spartanburg, South Carolina." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Powerhouse: 1920

Powerhouse: 1920

      On this Labor Day 2013, Shorpy wishes everyone a meaningful and at least momentary break from toil.

"Powerhouse Mechanic and Steam Pump" (1920). One of Lewis Wickes Hine's celebrated "work portraits" made after he completed his decade-long project documenting child labor. View full size.

 

Winter Job: 1910

Winter Job: 1910

December 1910. "Hard work and dangerous for such a young boy. James O'Dell, a greaser and coupler on the tipple of the Cross Mountain Mine, Knoxville Iron Co., in the vicinity of Coal Creek, Tennessee. James has been here four months. Helps push these heavily loaded cars. Appears to be about 12 or 13 years old." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.

 
 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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