Labor Photos Shed Light on Family History

Addie Card i i

hide captionAddie Card, 12, worked in a textile mill in North Pownal, Vermont in 1910. This photograph, by Lewis Hine, was part of a series commissioned by the National Child Labor Commission to document labor violations.

Lewis Hine/Library of Congress
Addie Card

Addie Card, 12, worked in a textile mill in North Pownal, Vermont in 1910. This photograph, by Lewis Hine, was part of a series commissioned by the National Child Labor Commission to document labor violations.

Lewis Hine/Library of Congress

With a camera the size of a bread box, photographer Lewis Hine infiltrated the factories, mills and mines where thousands of American children were forced to work in the early 1900s.

Hine was hired by the National Child Labor Commission to document violations of existing labor laws. Though many of the children in his photographs died without ever telling their stories, Hine's record of the conditions helped change labor laws in the United States.

Joe Manning, a Massachusetts historian, is tracking down the descendants of those laborers to let them know about their family history.

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