The Lewis Hine Project

Addie CardPhotographer Lewis Hine {wiki} spent a decade documenting child workers for the National Child Labor Committee in the early 20th century. His famous photos helped to outlaw child labor in America. Joe Manning has spent considerable time on a project to find out what happened to the children in the photographs, and is posting his findings. Among others is the story of how he uncovered the fate of Addie Card, described in a Hine photo as “an anemic little spinner”. Manning began his search inspired by the work of author Elizabeth Winthrop.
How long did she work at the mill? Did she finish school? Did she have children? How long did she live? Could she have living descendants? Had she been aware of Hine's famous photo? That's what Elizabeth wanted to know - and at that moment, so did I. As a historian, author and genealogist, I had experienced the excitement of the hunt and the elation of turning over the right rock at the right time.

Manning found what he was looking for in the case of Annie Card, and it’s a fascinating story. He’s had varying levels of success for the other photo subjects in this ongoing project. Link -via Metafilter

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On January 17, 2008, Shelby asked that someone make a movie about this era. Well, I have no control over that, but folk singer Janet Bates has recorded a poignant and beautiful song about Addie Card, entitled "The Little Spinner." A CD containing this song about Annie Card will be released in December of 2008. A partial version of the song will appear on YouTube momentarily. Google: Janet Bates little spinner addie card. You can hear more of Janet Bates music at:
http://www.janetbates.com/janet-bates-bio.html
Thank you for your interest.
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As a consumer, we have more power than any government to stop child labor - just insist that products are made in factories that don't employ child labor/have humane working conditions/pay living wages, etc.

Oh, wait (checks cheap Wal-Mart shoes). Dammit, made in China ... never mind!!!
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Thank you for posting this. Truly fascinating and heartbreaking. This is our history which no one wants to remember. Those of us who are old enough had grandparents and great grandparents who had to do the same things to survive.
Today we can't get off our fat butts except to go to Walmart or Taco Bell wearing clothes and shoes made by children in Asia who are the same age as the kids in the photos as Sid mentioned.
Something is really wrong with this world.
I know I'm preaching to the choir. Just needed to rant.
:)
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There are a bunch of wonderful Hine images on shorpy.com as well.

It's fine to all pat ourselves on the back about how wonderful the world is without child labor, but remember, child labor is alive and well outside the Western world. There is a reason that the shoes we where are so inexpensive... Kids are still doing all the things they did in Hine photos (same ages and working conditions as well) only now it is in Red China, Vietnam, Honduras, Africa and a host of other places. The only difference is that the US factories where this used to take place have long been shuttered and we just import the same stuff.
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I crisscrossed the Berkshires and VT region several times and really could see, touch, feel this neat story.

Amazing how a single photo lauched this modest woman into eternal remembrance.
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