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The Sickly Newsie: 1910

The Sickly Newsie: 1910

June 1910. Philadelphia, Pa. "Michael McNelis, 8 years old, a newsboy. This boy has just recovered from his second attack of pneumonia. Was found selling papers in a big rainstorm today." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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The newsboy is at one of the four corners of Philadelphia's City Hall.

The Sickly Newsie: 1910

This is Joe Manning, from the Lewis Hine Project. The man does not appear to be Lewis Hine. Sometimes Hine was accompanied by an investigator from the National Child Labor Committee. In this case, it was Edward F. Brown, and it's likely that the man was Brown. Please note that Mr. Hine does not have an "s" at the end of his name. That is a common mistake.

Is that Lewis Hines?

Is that Lewis Hines, perhaps taking notes on the boy's name, while his assistant took this picture? Or perhaps vice versa?

Hey Kid.

The man on the left is the first branch salesman of the early Cellulose Sales Company previously pictured. At the end of the day a storm soaked Michael was able to unload his wet news pulp to Cellulose Sales. A win win.

Here's my card. I'm an attorney.

The kindly gentleman is probably giving Michael his business card, encouraging him to sue that newspaper for making him stand outside in the rain. Of course, he's an independent contractor probably not subject to such an action, but "I'll only charge you if you win."

And so it began.

Shown on Left

What is the customer doing? Writing a check for two cents? Signing an autograph? Filling out a prescription for pneumonia medication? Taking information for the photo caption?

He Got Better

Assuming he was the one born Sep 15, 1901, he grew up, went to war, was wounded but survived, married, and had a full life, dying in 1971.

Do I really have to explain?

Of course, the reason little Michael got sick in the first place was because he was standing outside every day selling those papers.

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