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NEW FROM THE VINTAGRAPH VAULTS • JENNY ON THE JOB LIFTS WEIGHT THE EASY WAY

Jersey City Newsies: 1912

Jersey City Newsies: 1912

"3 p.m. Some of the boys at a busy trolley junction in Jersey City. Three brothers, Salvatore, 9 yrs. (in front), Joseph, 11 yrs. (cripple), Lewis, 13 yrs. (between these two). 'We would be murdered if we shot craps.' Boy at left sold me pair of dice for 2 cents." November 1912. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

The Big O: 1943

The Big O: 1943

January 1943. "Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. switchman demonstrating signal with a 'fusee,' used at twilight and dawn when visibility is poor. This signal means 'back up.' Calumet City, Illinois." Kodachrome by Jack Delano. View full size.

 

2:23: 1941

2:23: 1941

Ayer Mill clock tower, Lawrence, Massachusetts. January 1941. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

Proviso Yard, Chicago: 1942

Proviso Yard, Chicago: 1942

December 1942. Classification yard at the Chicago & Northwestern Proviso Yard, Chicago. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

South Water Street Terminal: 1943

South Water Street Terminal: 1943

April 1943. Illinois Central R.R. freight cars at the South Water Street freight terminal, Chicago. The C & O and Nickel Plate Railroads lease part of this terminal. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

Tenement Homeworker: 1912

Tenement Homeworker: 1912

Tenement homeworker with clothing tags. Roxbury, Massachusetts. August 1912. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size. Homeworkers, often children, sewed tags onto finished garments or performed other piecework at home instead of going to school.

 

Boy Sweeper: 1908

Boy Sweeper: 1908

October 1908. "Boy Sweeper and Carding Machines, Lincoln Cotton Mills, Evansville, Indiana." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

The Rat Collector: 1908

The Rat Collector:  1908

"Bring out yer rats." Ferrets were used in turn of the century New York to track down rodents. Here is the result of one such hunt in 1908. You want to be dressed in a jacket and tie for this kind of work. From the George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Home Depot: 1940

Home Depot: 1940

December 1940. "Secondhand plumbing store, Brockton, Mass." 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size. As of 2007, Saba Mechanical Plumbing & Heating is still in business in Brockton, at an address on Linus Avenue.

 

125 Pleasant Street: 1941

125 Pleasant Street: 1941

Street corner, Brockton, Massachusetts. January 1941. Two blurry figures pass by a fire hydrant in this time exposure by Jack Delano. View full size. Using the 125 above the door and the street sign as clues, we were able to find this building in Google Maps: 125 Pleasant Street at North Warren Avenue. It's the building to the right with the white roof, and seems to be more or less unchanged. Some of the apartments above the store are on the market as condos. The building the photographer used as his vantage point has disappeared, replaced by a parking lot.

 

Bakery Boy: 1917

Bakery Boy: 1917

Eleven-year-old bakery worker Glenn Dungey. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. April 1917. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Swipin’ Coal: 1917

Swipin’ Coal: 1917

"Swipin’ coal from the freight yards." Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. April 1917. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Trapper Boy: 1908

Trapper Boy: 1908

October 1908. "Trapper Boy, Turkey Knob Mine, Macdonald, West Virginia. Boy had to stoop on account of low roof, photo taken more than a mile inside the mine." Photo by Lews Wickes Hine.. View full size.

 

Shut This Door That Means You

Shut This Door That Means You

Vance, a trapper boy, 15 years old. Has trapped for several years in a West Virginia coal mine at 75 cents a day for 10 hours work. All he does is to open and shut this door: most of the time he sits here idle, waiting for the cars to come. On account of the intense darkness in the mine, the hieroglyphics on the door were not visible until plate was developed. September 1908. View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

One trapper's description of the job, which paid about $1.60 a day:

Trappers were responsible for opening and closing the underground ventilation doors. In those old mines, they had a system of doors between sections to direct the flow of air. Air was supposed to go up the main haulage and back to the fan. So a trapper sat all day by his door with an oil lamp on his cap. There was a "manhole" - a shelter hole in the wall by the track. The motorman would blink his light at me, and I'd throw the switch and open the door for him. Then, I'd jump into the manway until he was past, and run out and close the door. A trip would come along about every hour. Was I bored or lonely? Well, it was my job.

 

Goes to School Now (He Says)

Goes to School Now (He Says)

On streets near Daniel Mill. Lincolnton, North Carolina. November 1908. Right hand boy is Dan Biggerstaff. 10 years old. Has worked three years. Goes to school now (he says). Left hand, John Erwin. Said 11 years old. Has worked nights. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 
 
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