“A group of shrimp pickers in Peerless Oyster Co., working during the short noon recess. Many workers, including the children, utilize part of the lunch time this way, when there is a lunch time allowed. In many canneries, they snatch their lunches as best they may while the work goes on and others are getting ahead of them. Location: Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.”
by Lewis Wickes Hine
“Capps family at Columbia vaudeville. Baby of 21 months (been on stage for 6 months). Girl of 5 years (been on stage for 2 years). Boy of 7 years (been on stage for 1 year). Girl of 8 years (been on stage for 5 years). Boy of 12 years (been on stage for 8 years). Boy of 14 years (been on stage for 9 years). Oldest boy is acrobat, contortionist, etc. All do singing and dancing acts except baby, who appears in final scene as Charlie Chaplin. They appear 3 or 4 times a day—sometimes 7 days in the week, usually coming last on program (as a feature), which means they do not leave dressing room until nearly 11 p.m. Then, in addition, the life in cheap hotels and on the road “making new towns” is very unsettling. It was very touching to see the little ones curled up back of the scenes waiting for their act and getting 40 winks or the mother nursing the baby just before it was poked out onto the stage to do his little “turn.” In spite of their stage life, their manners are good. They are quiet, well-appearing children, and the parents are kind and sympathetic. The father acts as nursemaid to the baby, and the mother dresses and changes the others and appears herself. She said: “They’re never sick. It’s the healthiest kind of life.” The 8-year-old girl said: “I don’t like it—the men in some places are so rough.” There was some familiarity shown to them, but not much.”
Grand Rapids, Michigan
by Lewis W. Hine
November 29, 1917
Tonight’s poem/movie tour show is at Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland! Can the dogmobile get us there in time? We will be leaving the house at 11am and the show starts at 8. 4231 Telegraph Ave. Bring your own chair if you want one.
Photo is “Stella Irene Aydlott in her “Dogmobile,” propelled by her dog, Jack” from 1913. Piedmont Springs still exists, but I don’t know about Piedmont Baths - maybe they went under after child/dog labor became too expensive.
“Labor Day Parade, children in Child Labor demonstration, New York”
Bain News Service, publisher
Date Created/Published: 5/1/09
“[Mrs. Dora Stainers, 562 1/2 Decatur St. 39 years old. Began spinning in an Atlanta mill at 7 years, and is in this mill work for 32 years. Only 4 days of schooling in her life. Began at 20 cents a day. The most she ever made was $1.75 a day & now she is earning $1 a day when she works. She is looking for a job. Her little girl Lilie is the same age she was when she started work, but the mother says, “I ain’t goin to put her to work if I can help it. I’m goin’ to give her as much education as I can so she can do better than I did.” Mrs. Stainers is a woman of exceptional ability considering her training. In contrast to her is formed [?] another woman (this name was withheld) who has been working in Atlanta mills for 10 yrs. She began at 10 yrs. of age, married at 12, broke down, and may never be able to work again. Her mother went to work in the cotton mill very young.] Location: [Atlanta, Georgia]”
by Lewis Wickes Hine
“[Flossie Britt, 6 years old has been working several months steadily as spinner in the Lumberton Cotton Mills. Makes 30 cents a day. Lonnie Britt, 7 years old has been working steadily for 1 year as spinner. Makes 40 cents a day. Ages and data given me by their grandmother at home, and I saw them going and coming early and late. 2 smallest in group. When Mr. Swift made his last visit to Lumberton he was shown through these mills by Mr. Jennings, who asked Mr. Swift how many children he thought there were under age. Mr. Swift said about 20, Mr. Jennings told him there were at least 30, and called one of his men to prove he was right. He told Mr. Swift that all the mills were employing children under age. N.B. SEE OTHER SIDE BEFORE USING LABEL (over) Important. [verso of card]: N.B. April 1915: A subsequent visit to this family brought out the information that Flossie was 8 years old and Lonnie 10 years old when I saw them. That the boss asked the mother to bring Lonnie to work, and that she worked about 1/2 year as steadily as she could. That another boss asked the mother to bring Flossie to work and that the girl soon became sick. The mother became disgusted and quit the mill for life on her father’s farm where they are now located. There was no need for the children working. Since they moved to the farm the superintendent and 2 other persons visited the family and tried to intimidate them and get them to make mis-statements about the children’s ages and work. See Hine report for additional details, all given to Mr. Hine in the presence of a prominent Lumberton attorney.] Location: [Lumberton, North Carolina].”
by Lewis Wickes Hine
“Group outside Pittman Handle Factory. A fifteen year old boy operating a dangerous boring machine at which he said a boy recently bored half his hand off. To operate this machine (which bores a large hole in the spade handle) the boy has to throw his whole weight onto the lever which pushes the handle (and himself) up against the unprotected borer. A slip might easily result fatally. Boy earns $1.65 a day. This factory has a number of unprotected belts and dangerous machines. One other boy, about the age of this one, was doing all kind[s] of work, taking away the handles from a huge rip saw, etc., and constantly exposed to danger. Pittman Handle Factory, Denison, Tex. Location: Denison, Texas.”
Lewis Wickes Hine
“[Whistle blows noon Opelika Cotton Mill. Smallest girl in photograph is Velma Smith a tiny little spinner with a steady job all day. I found her at home crying bitterly because her father refused to let her have any money out of the pay envelope she brought home. Mother said: “That haint no way to encourage children to work.” Mother, father and several children work. Her mother admitted she worked here before 12 years old, and at Ella White Mill and one other city for about a year. Says they have no family record, but claims Velma is 12 now (which is doubtful). I saw her several times going and coming at 5:45 A.M. and noon.] Location: [Opelika, Alabama]”
by Lewis Wickes Hine
“Louis A. Caulfield, 37 Belfort Street, Dorchester. Delivering a heavy type-writer about half a mile. Works for Model Typewriter Inspection Co. Says he is sixteen years old and gets $6 a week. Taken on Boston Common. Location: Boston, Massachusetts”
by photographer Lewis Wickes Hine
Wasn’t it so romantic back when people used typewriters all the time and everything was great and everyone was sixteen even when they were only twelve?