As a member of the National Child Labor Committee, starting in 1908, Lewis Hine photographed working children. His images helped expose their plight and end the practice. During World War I, he used his camera to document American Red Cross relief work in Europe. In the 1920s, Hine made a series of "work portraits" of children in dangerous factories. In 1938, the U.S. Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which prohibited anyone under the age of 16 from working during school hours. Hine's photographs were instrumental in bringing about that change.

Addie Card, 12 years — © Lewis Hine / OneShot

Addie Card was 11 when she became a spinner for a cotton mill in Vermont, where she and her older sister worked together. This photograph became a symbol of child labor reform, and was made into a 32-cent postage stamp in 1998.


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