Teach American History Blog

All Work and No Play (and No School) . . .

For those who were able to attend the Keynote Address on October 20, I hope you have had a chance to flip through the book entitled Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor. The pictures that I used for my brief presentation are on the wiki, but there are literally thousands more that I could have used. I discovered a website devoted to all of Hine's child labor photos that can be found here. There are over 5,000 photos available, you can also search for key words (like "Knoxville" or "Trapper Boy").

What is a Trapper boy you ask? This is one below.

The book describes the scene as follows:

The picture was taken with a flashpan five hundred feet down the mine shaft and three-quarters of a mile underground from there. It was this boys job to open the door when a coal car came through, and then close the door quickly to keep air from blowing through the mine and lowering the temperature.

"A lonely job," wrote Hine, "by himself nine or ten hours a day in absolute darkness save for his little oil lamp. . . . Owing to the intense darkness in the mine, I didn't notice the chalk drawings on the door until I had developed the photographic plate. These drawings tell the tale of the boy's loneliness underground." (49-51)

This young boy, named Vance, was around 15 years old at the time (1908) when the photograph was taken, but he had been working at this job for several years. He made 75 cents a day, for 10 hours a day. Sitting in the dark, by himself. Surely students today would see being at school as better than this!

I finally settled on a few other photos that I found interesting, that appear below.

I thought it would be important to include some rural photos, as many (if not a majority) of child laborers worked on farms (only some of them owned by the family) rather than in city factories. These 6-7 year olds were in charge of tending this beet patch.


This shoe-shine boy in Nashville did not actually know how old he was, nor could he tell Hine how much money he made every day or week.


These were telegraph delivery boys in Knoxville.


So my question for all you teachers out there is this: how would you use photos like this in your classroom? What kinds of questions would you want to ask your students, and what kinds of questions would they ask? 

Posted by Jason Mead - Friday, 11/18/2011, 09:07 AM - Comments -


Comment by Charles Ogle on February 21, 2012 - 11:36 AM

The sesion on student labor made an impression on me. It has not been that long ago that children were seen as a source of labor or earnings for the family. Children had to work out of necessity for the family to survive or as a source of cheap labor for the factory owners. But that is in the past .. could not happen today, really? In some manner this still exsists today even in our own communities. The photos I examined were heart rinding. The expressions on the childrens faces were sad and demorlizing. I also saw a picture in one of our books of a child holding a sign that stated "we want to go to school". I would use the photos to discuss the experience of children during the Guilded Age period and then show the photo of the children wanting to go to school. Trying to make the point of how some things have changed,, child labor laws, compulsory attendance laws for schools. Students would write comments of changes and how things are better or worse today. Maybe going to school isn't as bad as some of us think.

Comment by mjm4ytrq3u8 on December 24, 2013 - 12:16 PM

ゲームの攻略本なんて買ったのいつぶりかな エンディングを迎えた直後にアイギスとメティスのフィギュアを二つずつ予約し、 予約していたポケモンホワイトをゲーム屋に取りに行くのを忘れるくらいハマりました この記事を更新する三日ほど前にクリアしたんですが、なかなか切ないエンディングだったよ 主人公レ.すぺんさ〜 せんせー! ファレグさんにメギドラオンが付きません! とかセベクビルで叫んでるすぺんさ〜でございます。正面の椅子には一番近かった隼鷹が座り、伊勢はその隣に腰掛ける。テレビアニメは1クール13話が基本的な単位になっており、2クールなら26話、4クールなら52話が放送されるわけですが、その切り替わり時期がやってきました。20代後半で年収1200万になりました当時、年間休日は10日くらい土日も夜間も関係なく、74さんのおっしゃる通り、切実に休み(というか、寝る時間)が欲しかったですその後、6年で3回職場が変わり、年収は1000万→400万以下(ほぼ学生でバイト生活)→現在1100万です今でも月6 7回は、いわゆる36時間勤務がありますが、以前より休みも増え人間らしい生活になってきました車は約500万円の国産車家賃駐車場で15万円月の食費は多分10万円くらい。http://blog.eisai-nishiurawa.com/?p=459#comment-155305 診察室はブースあり、中に入るまで、胃腸科か肛門科かは他の人にはわかりません。そういうのは良くない!全くだ!最後は親子でコール!本当に仲の良い姉妹?だね!(^^ゞこれでFAの抗議行動は無事終了!皆さん、お疲れ様でした!また路上でお会いしましょう!(^^)/。例えば、「魅惑の最強横綱白鵬コンプガチャ」というタイトルのコンプガチャが開催されたら、琴欧洲、把瑠都、琴奨菊、鶴竜、稀勢の里、日馬富士という枚のカードを揃えると白鵬がもらえ、プレイヤーは白鵬をゲーム内で使うことによりかなり優位に進めることができるようになりますところが、6枚のカードがすべて同じ確率で出現するわけではなく、この内12枚程度はかなり手に入りづらい確率設定がされています。TVアニメ「キルミーベイベー」「ヨルムンガンド」など数々のアニメで活躍中の田村睦心さんが、6月23日(日)にサイエンスホールにて単独ライブ『たむら祭ダンサブルステージングラムネ』を開催するイベントでは、トークや、歌、朗読など田村さんの魅力を存分に見ることができる内容を予定。が、当の安倍氏は、以前にこの会場で演説したこともあって、文字通りの”I am back.”であったし、客席にはブッシュ政権以来の「顔なじみ」も多かった。製作発表から早6年くらい?ようやく完成し、スクリーンで見られたことは素直にうれしいです。http://www.lala-moon.com/front/php/product.php?product_no=18&main_cate_no=12&display_group=1 http://www.snowmoto.ru/index.php?&pg=32&id=130&c http://investeringssparkonto.eu/naket-sparande/#comment-20631 http://arabdili.my1.ru/forum/34-71-69#48008 http://www.yunshanpo.com/blog/?post=8#2830 http://faijasmafia.com/?p=342&cpage=10#comment-173807

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