These powerful images were taken by photographer Lewis Hine on behalf of the National Child Labor Committee in America in the early 1900s. What is striking about the images is the adult expressions on the children’s faces.

The NCLC aimed to promote the rights and well-being of children in relation to working. Hine later referred to his photographic work for the NCLC as ‘detective work.’ These images are archived by the US Library of Congress.

(Above) Young Cigarmakers in Englahardt & Co., Tampa, Florida.  In busy times many small boys and girls were employed – all youngsters smoked.


(Above) Bibb Mill No. 1, 1909 Location: Macon, Georgia.child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-2(Above) Callie Campbell, 11 years old, picks 75 to 125 pounds of cotton a day. Location: Potawotamie County, Oklahoma.child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-7Below, Manuel, the young shrimp-picker, 5 years old  Location: Biloxi, Mississippi.child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-14(Below) Amos, 6, and Horace, 4 years old, in Tobacco Fieldschild-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-20-1

child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-18(Above) Sweeper and Doffer Boys, Lancaster Mills (Cotton).  Location: Lancaster, South Carolina.child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-6(Above) Breaker boys Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania(Below) Jo Benevidos, 5 Merion St. Curled up in a doffing box, eating his lunch. Location: Fall River, Massachusetts.

child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-13(Below) 11-year-old at Crescent Hosiery Millchild-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-15

child-labor-united-states-lewis-hines-19(Above) Ivey Mill, Hickory, N.C. Little one, 3 years old, who visits and plays in the mill. Daughter of the overseer. Location: Hickory, North Carolina.

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