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:
May 21, 1910. "Joseph Severio, Peanut Vendor. Wilmington, Delaware. 11 years of age. Pushing cart 2 years. Out after midnight. Ordinarily works 6 hours per day. Works of own volition. Doesn't smoke. All earnings go to father." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
These boys work in the Chesapeake Knitting Mills, Berkley, Virginia, and live in South Norfolk (youngest refused to give names): Otto, Lowe, 78 Seaboard Ave., Finishing Room. D.M. Deschields, 25 Phillip St., Winding Room. Lonnie Womack, Hawthorn Ave., Winding Room. Jack Harrell, 66 Perry St., Finishing. Waverley Roseberry, 250 St. James, Winding Room. Charlie McHorney, 4 Poindexter St., Winding Room. June 1911. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
Tallest boy Johnnie Younts, 72 Kirk Street, Salisbury, North Carolina. Has worked at in Salisbury Mills for 8 years. Began at 7 years old. When can he get any education? Other boy one year in mill. December 1908. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size. [At least they could afford nice clothes - Dave]
"3 p.m. Some of the boys at a busy trolley junction in Jersey City. Three brothers, Salvatore, 9 yrs. (in front), Joseph, 11 yrs. (cripple), Lewis, 13 yrs. (between these two). 'We would be murdered if we shot craps.' Boy at left sold me pair of dice for 2 cents." November 1912. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.