SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Boy in the Box: 1909

Boy in the Box: 1909

April 1909. Anthony, Rhode Island. "One of the young spinners in the Quidwick Co. Mill. A Polish boy, Willie, who was taking his noon rest in a doffer-box." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Happy go lucky

Aside from the unguarded machines and the box that looks like it will eventually turn him into a bale of hay like in a cartoon, he looks like he's having a good day.

Thank God for OSHA

Really? Dave, next time you travel to Rhode Island, make sure you visit Pawtucket and go to the Slater Mill Museum in the heart of downtown. While there, you'll get a hair-raising education about the perils, pitfalls and hard realities of mill-work and child labor. People lost fingers, hands, arms and lives on a regular basis for about a nickel a day. The machines you will see and touch there will give you the willies and you'll come away from the experience with a new-found appreciation and respect for Government intervention in labor standards and practices. I know I did. I thank God for the OSHAs of the world now.

Yes...completely amazing

Yes...completely amazing that people managed to look after themselves. How did they do it? Guess we'll never know.

OSHA Inspector nightmare

A scene like this today -- a young boy next to all those unguarded whirling gears, pulleys and belts -- would be a OSHA inspector's nightmare. It's amazing that anyone survived those years back then when so little attention was paid to safety.

[The flipside of that would be what's amazing is the growth of a vast regulatory bureaucracy that people did fine without. Except of course bureaucracies getting bigger isn't "amazing," it's what you'd expect. - Dave]

Tom Sawyer...

the factory years

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.