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:
"A 'reader' in cigar factory in Tampa, Fla. He reads books and newspapers at top of his voice all day long. This is all the education many of these workers receive. He is paid by them and they select what he shall read." January 1909. View full size.
"Dinner-Toters" waiting for the gate to open. This is carried on more in Columbus than in any other city I know, and by smaller children. Many of them are paid by the week for doing it, and carry, sometimes, ten or more a day. They go around in the mill, often help tend to machines, which often run at noon, and so learn the work. A teacher told me the mothers expect the children to learn this way, long before they are of proper age. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine, Columbus, Georgia, 1913. View full size.