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Kids in the Hall: 1909

Kids in the Hall: 1909

May 21, 1909. Manchester, New Hampshire. "A few of the small girls and boys (not the smallest ones) that I found working in the spinning room of one of the Amoskeag Mfg. Co. mills. Photo taken at 1 p.m., May 21, 1909, in hallway of spinning room. Many others there and in the other mills. Smallest boy (on left hand) is George Brown, No. 1 Corporation. Corner of Granite and Bedford Streets. Next is Eugene Lamy, 16 Marion St. Girls: Melvina Proulx, 145 Cartier St., Laura O'Clair, 145 Cartier St." View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.


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There is strength in the faces of these children. Also look at the arms of Mr. Brown, those muscles are those of a man, not a child. You can tell he has done hard long labor. It is good to know that he grew up to be a good father, and provided for his family. I am sure he worked hard so his children could have a better childhood than the one he had. God's Rest to you Mr. Brown.

George Brown

You have this wrong, the person who wrote about my dad was George's daughter -- my kid sister. Dad was a wonderful father who had worked hard all of his life to provide for his family.

[Whoops. Thanks. We'd love to hear more about your dad. - Dave]

To Mr. Brown's son

Thank you for telling us more about your father. It is always a treat and a pleasure to hear the stories behind these sometimes forgotten faces. Having had such a large family, I am sure his life was never easy, but I do hope it contained many happy moments.

Best wishes,

Google cache to the rescue

"Dad was 10 years old when he worked in the mill. He was born in 1899 in Lowell, Massachusetts. At the age of 12 he became orphaned when both his parents died in 1911 just six months apart. He had 12 children of his own-of which only three are still alive. He died in 1963 at the age of 64."

[Thanks, CHA! There was one earlier comment, too. - Dave]

George's Son

Well darn. I had to restart the database and we lost the two very interesting comments from George's son. Anybody save a copy?

Mill Workers

I have been enjoying these old pictures so much and this one inspires--or reminds--me to share them with my oldest son (14). He could learn so much, just from looking at these pictures.

Little Grown-Ups

What always strikes me about the Hine photos, especially when he takes a group shot like this, are the differences in the way the children carry themselves. Some look like they've never had an easy day, never had a single thing given to them in their entire, young lives, and like they don't expect things to ever change. Others seem to carry themselves like little grown-ups, and have a look about them that says "I'm working here now and earning my keep, but I'll do better than this, someday."

Really makes me wonder what happened next.

Also, I agree with C.H.A., would the person who is the child of George Brown please consider sharing more of their father's life story? I would love to hear it.

Re: George Brown

Tell us more about your father. How old was he in 1909? Can you tell us more about his life?

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