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Addie Card: 1910

Addie Card: 1910

February 1910. Addie Card, 12 years old, anemic little spinner in North Pownal Cotton Mill, Vermont. Girls in mill say she is ten years. She admitted to me she was twelve; that she started during school vacation and would "stay." View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.


Addie Card: 1910

This is Joe Manning again. The link to my story of Addie, as noted above, has changed. It is now:

A Hearty Thanks... Shorpy and Joe Manning for the fascinating photos and the research of their subjects - such as are linked in the comments.


Addie Card

When I interviewed Addie's descendants, they said that Addie Card told them that she had one pair of shoes, which she wore to only to church. She didn't wear them at the mill so she wouldn't get them dirty.
-Joe Manning, Lewis Hine Project


It's impossible to imagine that she preferred to go barefoot in such a dirty, dangerous place. Poverty must have left her with no choice. It's shocking to think that she had to work just to feed herself at a job that didn't even pay enough to buy shoes. Talk about oppression and child abuse.

[These kids weren't working to feed themselves; the money usually went to their parents, with some diverted to, as Lewis Hine often noted, "frivolities" like candy or "the moving pictures." As for being barefoot, we read in the historical accounts of former millworkers that going without shoes was often their own choice, or that the owners enforced a shoes-off rule to keep the floors clean. Generally speaking, these kids were not especially poor. - Dave]

No shoes...

It always amazes me to see kids working without shoes in factories where you would not dare to enter without workboots nowadays... how times change. I can't imagine not having shoes in a place like Vermont where it's warm only 3-4 months a year!

Thanks Joe Manning

I just finished the article Joe wrote about Addie. I am impressed with your writing skills and the story of the little spinner. Thanks to you and to the staff at shorpy that have such a wonderful site.

The search for Addie Card

Joe Manning's story about the search for "an anemic little spinner" is absolutely fascinating. Thank you, Joe, for the genealogical detective work and the story about it (and I laughed -- and groaned -- with you about finding that first headstone!)

BTW, be sure to check out the "About Joe Manning" page on his site, and learn why he's in the Baseball Hall of Fame (well, some of his work is) and has a connection with Arlo Guthrie.

Amazing Work

That is a wonderful piece of research you did, and a great read to boot. Thanks for sharing!

Addie Card: 1910

Joe Manning again. At the risk of being reduntant, this was the first Hine photo I researched for my Lewis Hine Project. Addie lived to be 94 years old. See the whole story of my research at

Author Elizabeth Winthrop wrote an award-winning children's novel based on this photo. It's called "Counting On Grace." See

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