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Atlanta: 1915

Atlanta: 1915

Atlanta, March 1915. Mrs. Dora Stainers, 562½ Decatur St. 39 years old. Began spinning in an Atlanta mill at 7 years, and is in this mill for 32 years. Only 4 days of schooling in her life. Began at 20 cents a day. The most she ever made was $1.75 a day & now she is earning $1 a day when she works. Her little girl Lillie is the same age she was when she started work, but the mother says, "I ain't goin to put her to work if I can help it. I'm goin' to give her as much education as I can so she can do better than I did." Mrs. Stainers is a woman of exceptional ability considering her training. View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.


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Thanks to Zach's Google image below, you can see that her address is part of the Atlanta mass transit system (MARTA) running east-west, elevated at this location.

From the camera view left (south) across those railroad tracks is the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill. Mrs Stainers may have worked there. But in late 1914 to May 1915, a severe labor strike gripped the mill. Management disapproved of the push for unionization by the United Textile Workers, the increase in wages, the 54 hour work week and the effort to reduce child labor. Had she worked there, she would have been on strike in March 1915.

The mill exists today and is renovated loft apartments and condominiums.

For more history and photos on the mill:


This would be a much more poignant picture if Hinds had gotten the people in focus. Nice to see that even the greats made the same mistakes that we all make sometimes.

[Like calling the photographer Hinds instead of Hine. The print this scan was made from is badly deteriorated. We try to use glass negatives for the Hine photos whenever possible -- they are ultra sharp -- but the original for this image has been lost. - Dave]

Old Newbie

Greetings all,

Been visiting this site for a few months now and decided it's time to post. I love old pictures and this one explains what a "shirtwaist" is.

You can also tell the age of the photo by the telephone pole crossmembers. They had a lot of them in those days due to each wire only being able to handle a few calls.

Dora's Closet

Fashions back then changed quickly and dramatically, but not for poor Mrs. Stainers. She is wearing a shirtwaist that looks to be from about 1898, high collar, leg o' mutton sleeves and all.

Only the Railroad

Only the railroad has remained, it would seem. Thanks for the modern view. Now, does anyone know what became of Lillie?

562½ Decatur Street

Take a look at this view as it is today!

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