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Mule Room Boys: 1911

Mule Room Boys: 1911

October 1911. Lowell, Massachusetts. "Robert Magee (smallest), 270 Suffolk Street, apparently 12 years, been working in Mule Room #1, Merrimac Mill, one year. Michael Keefe (next in size), 32 Marion Street, been at work in #1 Mule Room for eight months; apparently 13 years old. Cornelius Hurley, 298 Adams Street, been at work in #1 Mule Room for six months; about 13 or 14 probably." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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Hurley Family

Cornelius Hurley's father was Michael Hurley who worked for the city as a laborer (pick and shovel), was 41 in 1910, and was a widower before 1900. His mother's maiden name was Sarah Dempsey.

Cornelius (13) had two brothers and a sister. His brothers John J. (16) and Michael J. (15) both worked in a carpet mill and had not attended school in the last year. He and his sister May/Mary A. (14) were still attending school in 1910.

He served in WWI.

By 1920 their last name had changed to Herlihey. His father is still working for the city as a laborer and Cornelius has now joined him in the same capacity with the city. His brother John is a weaver at a carpet mill. His brother Michael and sister Mary are working as clerks for a candy manufacturer. They are all still living at 298 Adams Street.

In 1926 he went to Detroit, MI.

By 1930 he he had moved to Chicago, IL and he was a salesman for a soda fountain supply company. He married Charlotte Strand on December 15, 1931 in Chicago. They later moved to Los Angeles, California where Cornelius died on November 1, 1953.

And if ya ask me

Big brother just gave little brother a "Wet Willie!"

What the heck

is a mule room?

[It's the room in a cotton mill that houses the mules, or yarn-spinning machines. - Dave]

If ya ask me

I'd say the big boy is sweet on the little boy!

Sense of pride

When I see these old photos of boys outside of their workplace (and sometimes inside), they seem so proud of themselves. I wonder if it's because they are having their photo taken or because they have a job? I'm not saying bring back child labor, but there's a difference in the faces of a tween in a school photo and in a work photo from back then.

Ya gotta love

those shoes!

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