Child Labor in America

In  November 1908, photographer Lewis Hine, working undercover for the National Child Labor Committee, came upon Sadie Pfeifer working a cotton-­spinning machine in ­a Lancaster, SC mill.

Hine believed his images of children, some as young as 8, laboring in mills, meatpacking houses, coal mines and canneries would force demands for change. He was right. Regulations and legislation cut the number of child laborers nearly in half by 1920. Editors of Time Magazine selected Hine’s photo of Sadie Pfeifer as one of the 100 most influential images of all time.

See more of Lewis Hine’s photos here.


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