Lewis Wickes Hine

(Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1874 - 1940, Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Columbus, Ga., April 1913


Gelatin silver print

5 1/2 x 4 in. (14.0 x 10.2 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of John Coplans


More Information

Lewis Hine, considered by many to be the father of modern social documentary photography, spent more than a decade as the official photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Between 1908 and 1921, Hine photographed rural and urban child laborers across the country. The resulting images were used in NCLC pamphlets, exhibits, and magazine advertisements, and helped to transform the nation’s attitudes and policies on child labor and welfare. Hine wrote captions for most of his photos, incorporating facts about the people and places depicted, and often with direct quotes from his subjects. These original captions, where available, are given, unedited, in quotation marks below. “‘Dinner-Toters’ waiting for the gate to open. This carried on more in Columbus than in any other city I know and by smaller children… Many of them are paid by the week for doing it, and carry, sometimes ten or more a day. They go around in the mills often help tend to the machines, which often run at noon, and so learn the work. A teacher told me mothers expect the children to learn this way long before they are of proper age.”

Gelatin Silver
Child laborers
United States