Remembering Our Youngest Laborers
In 1908, Wisconsin photojournalist Lewis Hine left his teaching job in New York and began traveling the country, eventually taking more than 5,000 pictures of working children. A social reformer with a lens, Hine’s pictures of kids working grueling and dangerous jobs led to important child labor reforms. During the fall of 1910 and 1911, Hine visited the Merrimack Valley and photographed children working long hours in factories, selling newspapers or setting pins in bowling alleys.
North Adams historian Joe Manning is tracing the descendants of Hine’s pint-size subjects. Over the years, Manning has researched the lives of more than 300 children that appeared in Hine photographs. Manning is now focusing on photos taken in Lawrence, and has curated an exhibit at the Everett Mill detailing the lives and descendants of these little laborers, which tied in with the 2012 Bread and Roses Centennial.