Catherine Young and her Children

Lewis Hine took this family photo in 1909. The caption at Shorpy reads:

January 22, 1909. Tifton, Georgia. "Family working in the Tifton Cotton Mill. Mrs. A.J. Young works in mill and at home. Nell (oldest girl) alternates in mill with mother. Mammy (next girl) runs 2 sides. Mary (next) runs 1½ sides. Elic (oldest boy) works regularly. Eddie (next girl) helps in mill, sticks on bobbins. Four smallest children not working yet. The mother said she earns $4.50 a week and all the children earn $4.50 a week. Husband died and left her with 11 children. Two of them went off and got married. The family left the farm two years ago to work in the mill." Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

Not long after the photo was taken, the seven youngest children were sent to an orphanage. Historian Joe Manning wondered what happened to the family. He did the research and reconstructed the story of Catherine Young, her children, and their descendants. It's a fascinating read, which includes the history of Georgia's cotton mills and evolving child labor laws. Link -via Metafilter


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