Image: Gastonia, N. C.
(Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1874 - 1940, Dobbs Ferry, New York)

"Been in mill four years. 12 years old. Runs 6 sides. 60 cents a day. Soon will run 8=80 cents a day. Father said the wife of a neighbor made $7.40 last week-$1.40 more than her husband. Women and girls makes more than the men. Child 8 years old helps sister." , 1908

Gelatin silver print
4 3/4 in. x 6 1/2 in. (12.07 cm x 16.51 cm)
Gift of John Coplans
1978.7
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.

“Been in mill four years. 12 years old. Runs 6 sides. 60 cents a day. Soon will run 8=80 cents a day. Father said the wife of a neighbor made $7.40 last week—$1.40 more than her husband. Women and girls make more than the men. Child 8 years old helps sister.”

A side, as mentioned above, was one of the long rows of spindles in the machine. Girls worked as spinners; they brushed lint from the machines and mended breaks in the threads. Constantly on their feet, they worked eleven or twelve hour days, six days a week.

  
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
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