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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

General View of Spinning Room, Cornell Mill

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Lewis Wicks Hine, GENERAL VIEW OF SPINNING ROOM, CORNELL MILL (1912). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Creator Lewis Wicks Hine
Context Employers hired children to work in factories, mills, mines, and other work sites.
Audience General public and the federal government through magazine articles, posters, and exhibitions
Purpose To record the working conditions of child laborers throughout the country in order to bring about child labor laws

Historical Significance

In 1904, the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) organized with the goal of passing legislation that prohibited child labor. The NCLC hired Lewis Hine to photograph the work conditions of child laborers in settings such as New York canneries, Georgian cotton mills, and West Virginian mines. Thousands of photographs showed children working in hazardous and unhealthy environments. These photographs provided the NCLC with evidence to make its case for child labor legislation to the federal government and to the public through magazine articles, posters, and exhibitions.

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