Lewis Wickes Hine

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

Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 1909


Gelatin silver print

7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 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. “Tallest girl—Kate McMances. Smallest (next) Zorobell Hatley (next) Louis Blanchard (next) Edith McManus. Atherton Mill. They all said they had been in mill work only a few weeks or months. Evidently they had been quizzed before and were ‘wise’.”

United States
Child laborers
Gelatin Silver