In 1908 Lewis Hine picked up his camera and became the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. It was a start of a long decade, as Lewis traveled across the country, documenting child labor, getting constant threats from factory owners as the immorality of child labor was supposed to be kept away from the public’s eye. However, Hine persisted, adopting many different disguises (such as a fire inspector or a bible salesman) to snap pictures and interview the children working at factories or in the streets. 

Lewis Hine used his camera as a tool for social commentary and reform, focusing on the dangerous and appalling conditions that the children had to work in. Risking his own safety, Hine snapped thousands of photographs with one goal – to end child labor. And of course, spreading the photographs, in the form of pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines paid off as the federal government eventually had to put out stricter labor laws. Scroll down below to see a selection of Hine’s photographs and don’t forget to tell us what you think.

#1 Accident To Young Mill Worker. Giles Edmund Newsom. While Working In Sanders Spinning Mille, A Piece Of The Machine Fell On To His Foot Mashing His Toe. This Caused Him To Fall On To A Spinning Machine And His Hand Went Into Unprotected Gearing, Crushing And Tearing Out Two Fingers. He Told The Attorney He Was 11 Years Old When It Happened. Location: Bessemer City, North Carolina

#2 7-Year Old Rosie. Regular Oyster Shucker. Her Second Year At It. Illiterate. Works All Day. Shucks Only A Few Pots A Day. Varn & Platt Canning Co. Location: Bluffton, South Carolina

#3 Newsboy Asleep On Stairs With Papers. Location: Jersey City, New Jersey

#4 7 Year Old Ferris. Tiny Newsie Who Did Not Know Enough To Make Change For Investigator. There Are Still Too Many Of These Little Ones In The Larger Cities. Location: Mobile, Alabama

#5 Callie Campbell, 11 Years Old, Picks 75 To 125 Pounds Of Cotton A Day, And Totes 50 Pounds Of It When Sack Gets Full. “No, I Don’t Like It Very Much.” Location: Potawotamie County, Oklahoma

#6 Four-Year-Old Mary, Who Shucks Two Pots Of Oysters A Day At Dunbar. Tends The Baby When Not Working. Location: Dunbar, Louisiana

#7 Vance, A Trapper Boy, 15 Years Old. Has Trapped For Several Years In A West Va. Coal Mine. $.75 A Day For 10 Hours Work. All He Does Is To Open And Shut This Door. Location: West Virginia

#8 Rose Biodo, 1216 Annan St., Philadelphia. 10 Years Old. Working 3 Summers. Minds Baby And Carries Berries, Two Pecks At A Time. Location: Browns Mills, New Jersey

#9 Breaker Boys In #9 Breaker, Hughestown Borough, Pa. Coal Co. Smallest Boy Is Angelo Ross. Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania

#10 Arnao Family, Whole Family Works. Jo Is 3 Years Old. Boy Is 6 Years Old, Girl Is 9 Years Old. May 28th 1910, Before School Closed. Location: Browns Mills, New Jersey

#12 Frank P……., Whose Legs Were Cut Off By A Motor Car In A Coal Mine In West Virginia When He Was 14 Years 10 Months Of Age. Location: Monongah, West Virginia

#13 5-Year Old Harold Walker. Location: Comanche County–[geronimo], Oklahoma

#14 Rhodes Mfg. Co., Lincolnton, N.c. Spinner. A Moments Glimpse Of The Outer World Said She Was 10 Years Old. Been Working Over A Year. Location: Lincolnton, North Carolina

#15 Tipple Boy, Turkey Knob Mine, Macdonald, W. Va. Witness E.n. Clopper. Location: Macdonald, West Virginia

#16 Noon Hour In The Ewen Breaker, Pennsylvania Coal Co. Location: South Pittston, Pennsylvania

#17 Some Of Newark’s Small Newsboys. Afternoon. Location: Newark, New Jersey

#18 Eight-Year-Old, Jennie Camillo, Lives In West Maniyunk, Pa. For This Summer She Has Picked Cranberries. Location: Pemberton, New Jersey

#19 Maud Daly, Five Years Old. Grade Daly, Three Years Old. Each Picks About One Pot Of Shrimp A Day For The Peerless Oyster Co. Location: Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

#20 Photo Of Boys Working In Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, N.j. Photo Taken Late At Night. The Boys Work Until Midnight And Later. Location: Trenton, New Jersey

#22 A Little Spinner In Globe Cotton Mill. Augusta, Ga. The Overseer Admitted She Was Regularly Employed. Location: Augusta, Georgia

#23 “Basket ! Five Cents Each!” Antoinette Siminger, 12 Years Old, 4219 Glenway Ave., Price Hill, Sixth St., Market, Cincinnati. 10 P.m. Had Been Selling Since Morning. Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

#24 10 Yr. Old Picker On Gildersleeve Tobacco Farm. Location: Gildersleeve, Connecticut

#25 11:00 A. M . Monday, May 9th, 1910. Newsies At Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson Near Franklin. They Were All Smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri

#26 Scene In Canning Factory Showing A 7-Year Old Girl Who Shucks 3 Pots Of Oysters A Day, And Works Regularly, And Her 6-Year Old Brother Who Helps Some. Mostly Negro Workers. The Boss Said “We Keep Only Enough Whites So We Can Control The Negroes And Keep Them Agoing.” Location: Bluffton, South Carolina

#27 Young Driver In Mine: Had Been Driving One Year. (7 A.m. To 5:30 P.m. Daily) Brown Mine, Brown , W. Va. Location: Brown, West Virginia

#28 Drivers In A Coal Mine Co. Plenty Boys Driving And On Tipple. No Trappers Used, As Mine Is Ventilated By Another System. Location: West Virginia

#29 Greel’s Shoe-Shining Parlor, Indianapolis, Ind. Said He Was 15 Years Old. Works Some Nights Until 11. Taken At 10 P.m. Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

#30 Lunch Time, Economy Glass Works, Morgantown, W. Va. Plenty More Like This, Inside. Location: Morgantown, West Virginia

#32 “Radishes! Penny A Bunch!” Sixth St. Market, Cincinnati. 10 P.m. Saturday. Boys And Girls Sell All Day, And Until 11 P.m. Aug.22, 1908. Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

#33 Little Fannie, 7 Years Old, 48 Inches High, Helps Sister In Elk Mills. Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee

#34 One Of The Spinners In Whitnel Cotton Mfg. Co. N.c. She Was 51 Inches High. Had Been In Mill 1 Year. Some At Night. Runs 4 Sides, 48 Cents A Day. When Asked How Old, She Hesitated, Then Said “I Don’t Remember.” Then Confidentially, “I’m Not Old Enough To Work, But I Do Just The Same.” Location: Whitnel, North Carolina

#35 Sonny And Pete Newsboys. One Is Six Years Old. They Began At 6:00 A.m. Location: San Antonio, Texas

#36 Louis Birch, Newsboy, 12 Years Of Age. Just Started Selling. Made 10 Cents One Day. Father Dead. While Not Under Any Compulsion To Sell Papers, Louis, Of His Own Accord, Took It Up In Order To Help Support His Widowed Mother. Location: Wilmington, Delaware

#37 Widow & Boy Rolling Papers For Cigarettes In A Dirty N.y. Tenement. Location: New York, New York

#38 One Of The Small Boys In J. S. Farrand P[ac]king Co. And A Heavy Load. J. W. Magruder, Witness. Location: Baltimore, Maryland

#39 A Typical Birmingham Messenger. Location: Birmingham, Alabama

#40 Working Girls Learning Dressmaking In The Free Evening School. Location: Boston, Massachusetts

#42 “Fire- Fire – I Want To Make The Fire.” An Italian Boy On Salem Street Saturday Morning, Offering To Make Fires For Jewish People. Location: Boston, Massachusetts

#43 Francis Lance 5 Years Old, 41 Inches High. Sells Regularly On Grand Avenue. Location: St. Louis, Missouri

#44 Maple Mills, Dillon, S.c. Soarbar Seris, Has Worked Off And On In The Mill For 5 Years. Winds. Gets 70 Cents And Up. “Recon I’m About 14.” Didn’t Look It. Has Worked More Nights Than Day Time. Location: Dillon, South Carolina

#45 A Few Of The Messengers Western Union, Hartford, Conn. They Are On Duty, Alternate Nights, Until 10 P.m. Location: Hartford, Connecticut

#46 One Of The Young Spinners In The Quidwick Co. Mill. Anthony, R. I. (A Polish Boy Willie) Who Was Taking His Noon Rest In A Doffer-Box. Location: Anthony, Rhode Island

#47 Noon Hour In An Indianapolis Furniture Factory. Aug., 1908. Wit., E. N. Clopper. Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

#48 Two Of The Boys On Night Shift In The More-Jonas Glass Co., Bridgeton, N.j. Location: Bridgeton, New Jersey

#49 Fruit Vendors, Indianapolis Market, Aug., 1908. Wit., E. N. Clopper. Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

#50 Elsie Shaw, A 6 Year Old Cartoner During The Summer. [her Father] Asked Me To Take Some Photos Of Her, As He Has Her Do A Singing Act In Vaudeville In The Winter, “And She’s Old Enough Now To Go Through The Audience And Sell Her Own Photos.” Location: Eastport, Maine

#52 Ethel Shumate. Has Been Rolling Cigarettes In Danville (Va.) Factory For Six Months. Said She Was Thirteen Years Old, But It Is Doubtful. Location: Danville, Virginia

#53 Messenger Boy Working For Mackay Telegraph Company. Said Fifteen Years Old. Exposed To Red Light Dangers. Location: Waco, Texas

#54 Newberry Mills (S.c.) Noon Hour. All Are Working Here. Witness, Sara R. Hine. Location: Newberry, South Carolina

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