9 year old picker for the American Sumatra Tobacco Co. Photographed in Weatogue, Connecticut, August 1917.
Young girls of 11, 12, 13 yrs. string in sheds of Goodrich Tobacco Farm, near Gildersleeve. Photographed in Gildersleeve, Connecticut, August 1917.
3 "leaf-boys", 9 and 9 and 11 years old, Cybalski Tobacco Farm. Photographed in Hazardville, Connecticut, August 1917.
Group of "cartoners" in Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #7. Everyone of them works putting cans of sardines in paper cartons. Eleven out of the fourteen were under twelve years. Several from eight to ten. Smallest girl in front is Erna Hamilton, eight years old. The older girls, from twelve to fourteen years, earn several dollars a day. One fourteen year old girl said she made $3 to $4 when she packed all day and into the evening. Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August 1911.
Some of the young cartoners in work room, Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #2. Five year old Preston working also. Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August 1911.
12 year old girl "passing" leaves to stringers, tobacco-shed of Hackett Farm. Photographed in Buckland, Connecticut, August 1917.
Group of pickers on Gildersleeve Tobacco Farm. Photographed in Gildersleeve, Connecticut, August 1917.
10 year old leaf boy and three "stringers", 10, 12, and 13 yrs. old. Tobacco shed of American Sumatra Tobacco Co. In these two sheds were 41 girls and boys from 10 to 15 years, and only 24 girls and women of 16 and over. The leaf-boys get $1.50 a day and some of the stringers of 10 and 12 make $1.20 a day according to the Supt. Photographed in South Windsor, Connecticut, August 1917.
Fulsom McCutchin, 11 years old, has been working at the covering machines in Eastport canning factory, also cutting some. In the background is a typical sardine factory. Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August, 1911.
All of these boys are cutters in the Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #7. Ages range from 7 to 12. They live near the factory. Seven year old boy in front, Byron Hamilton, has a badly cut finger, but helps his brother regularly. Behind him is his brother, George, 11 years old. He cut his finger half off while working. They and many other youngsters said they were always cutting their fingers. George earns $1.00 some days, $.75 usually. Some of the others said they earn $1.00 when they work all day. At times they start at 7 a.m., work all day until midnight, but the work is very irregular. Names of those in the photo are George Mathews, Johnny Rust, John Surles, Fulsom McCutchin, Albert Robinson, Morris McConnell. Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August 1911.
Shows the way they cut the fish in sardine canneries. Large, sharp knives are used, with a cutting and sometimes chopping motion. The slippery floors and benches, and careless bumping into each other increase the liability to accident. "The salt gits in the cuts an' they ache." Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August 1911.
Three cutters in Factory #7, Seacoast Canning Co., Eastport, Me. They work regularly whenever there are fish. (Note the knives they use.) Back of them and under foot is refuse. On the right hand is Grayson Forsythe, 7 years old. Middle is George Goodell, 9 years old, finger badly cut and wrapped up. Said, "the salt gets unto the cut." Said he makes $1.50 some days. Left end, Clarence Goodell, 6 years, helps brother. Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August 1911.
Interior of a cutting shed in Maine. Young cutters at work, Clarence, 8 years, and Minnie, 9 years. Photo does not show the salt water in which they often stand, nor the refuse they handle. On the low shelf are two of the "boxes" used as measures, and for which they get 5 cents a box. Photographed in Eastport, Maine, August 1911.
Three pickers going home from work. Anne Benotte, said 7 years old. Brother Vincent said 11. Vincent picked last year. Inez, sister, said 6 years old "and picked last year wid me mudder." Smallest one not quite large enough to work. Father works for Parker Mills. Photographed in Parker Mills vicinity, Massachusetts, September 1911.
Josef Szlosek, 10 Joy Street,(alone) has been a doffer at #8 mill for six months. Photographed in Ludlow, Massachusetts, November 1911.
Group of workers. The smallest boy in the middle of the group is Secondino Libro, 34 Walnut Street. Apparently 10 or 11. Works in No. 4 spinning room. Photographed in Lawrence, Massachusetts, September 1911.
Belford Coldos, 27 Cannon St., New Bedford, Massachusetts. 8 years old, picking on Weeks Bog. Photographed in Falmouth, Massachusetts, September 1911.
Boy who carries barrels. Robert Saunders, 10 years old. Lives Waquoit, is the son of the boss. Mother picks too. Photographed in South Carver, Massachusetts, September 1911.
Arthur Farnande. Said 8 years old. Picking cranberries by hand and brother Charlie said he was 9 picking with a scoop. Said they worked from 9 until 5. Photographed at Hollow Branch Bog near Wareham, Massachusetts, September 1911.
The boy standing is Manuel Baptiste, 605 Acushnet Ave., Fall River, Massachusetts. Said 10 years old. 7 year old Alphonse and 12 year old, of 587 E. End Ave., Fall River, Mass., working. Photographed in Smart's Bog, South Carver vicinity.
Mule-spinning room in Chace Cotton Mill, Raoul Julien, "a back-roping boy". Has been here two years. Photographed in Burlington, Vermont, May 1909.
Every one of these children was working in the cotton mill in North Pownall, Vermont, and they were running a small force. Albert Sylvester, 16, working 1 year; Eugene Willett, 13, working 1 year; Arthur Noel, 15, working 1 year; P. Tetro, 15, working 1 year; T. King, 14, working 1 year; Clarence Noel, 11, working 1 year. Photographed in North Pownal, Vermont, August 1910.
Addie Card, 12 year old spinner in North Pownall Cotton Mill. She admitted that she was 12 years old; that she started during school vacation and now would stay. Photographed in North Pownal, Vermont, February 1910.
Young doffers. Photographed in North Pownal, Vermont, August 1910.
Hyman, six year old newsie. Another six year old newsie said he sold until 6 pm. Photographed in Lawrence, Massachusetts, September 1911.
Mamie LaBerge at her machine. She was under legal age. Spinner at the Spring Village Mill. Photographed at Glen Allen Mill, Winchendon, Massachusetts, September 1911.
All photos/art by Lewis W. Hine
Photographer Lewis Hine is best known for his documentary work capturing images of child labor around the country for the National Child Labor Committee from 1908-1924. The following photographs represent some of the images he created while traveling around New England and include his field notes. Faces discovered in cranberry bogs, mills, sardine factories and tobacco fields all proved instrumental in enforcing and changing the laws regarding the employment of underage children.
These images represent a small sampling from the library of congress’s vast collection of Hine’s photographs for the NCLC. All photographs in this slide show are from the National Child Labor Committee’s Collection which was donated to the library of Congress in 1954 by Mrs. Gertrude Folks Zimand, acting for the NCLC in her capacity as chief executive. To see more of Hine’s work for the NCLC, please visit loc.gov/pictures/collection/nclc