Lewis Hine (Sociologist & Photographer): Child Labour 1908-1924

I encountered sociologist Lewis Hine’s hard hitting body of photographic work (from the early 20th C) quite a few years back, and the images stayed on. Like Eugene Smith much later, Hine’s camera was a camera with a conscience, powerful enough to be a catalyst for social reform. Documenting the end of innocence of children employed in factories, cotton mills, coal mines and households across the USA. 1908-1924.

 

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18 Comments on "Lewis Hine (Sociologist & Photographer): Child Labour 1908-1924"

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Jeffery M
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Camera with a cause if there ever was one…

Noelle R
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What a great arguement for photography…!

Brennan
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Photographs can be so powerful.

Debbie T
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They don’t look terribly unhappy, they just look abandoned and tired. Does that make me feel better? No.

shyamoli
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Respect!

Bonita
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its an unfair world, with great injustices, even now.

Deborah C
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Child labor in any shape or form is totally unacceptable. Breaks my heart.

frida
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Very moving photos. I am a sucker for old photos, so great.

Adele fan
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Amazing what commitment can do, bring reform

Ian D
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Good time capsule. Salute to these courageous little fellas.

Vasudha
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I read somewhere that he used to be called a “muckraker”. Probably because of locking horns with boy labour employers throuh his pics?

gwen
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Lost lives, a carefree childhood never known. I feel this terrible sadness when i look at these pictures.

nafisa
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There will be more pictures of these kinds to take in India of the present day than the USA of a 100 years ago.

Judy F
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All my grandparents were child labourers – started work aged 9 and 10. They all grew up to be good people and lived long lives – their labour as children taught them a lot – the most important thing being the value of education. My grandpa taught us to read before we started school. He worked with us on maths and science very early on. I am not advocating child labour, but it made my grandparents strong and resilient people who knew what mattered in life. It wasn’t all tragedy.

Neville R
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I need to write a research paper on lewis hine and is photography but I need to narrow my topic…any good ideas anyone?

Hanna
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So heartbreaking when you really look into their eyes. They all needed a good hug.

OlJohn
Guest

Very interesting photographs. I started work at twelve years old as a general boy in a coal mine in Newcastle but also had some schooling, although not much. I also worked on the trawlers. Then later I did national service and then went into engineering. I can’t complain. I’m still here! I am 82.

Taylor
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Dear Sir,
I am a student in middle school in a statewide history contest. My topic is Lewis Hine and the Child Labor Reform, and I was wondering if I could call or email you and ask you a few questions. If you would be willing to let me interview you, please reply to this comment, and we can make an arrangement. Thank you for considering this offer.
Sincerely,
Taylor

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