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Lewis W. Hine

Hine grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. As a young man he had to care for himself, and working at a furniture factory gave him first-hand knowledge of industrial workers' harsh reality. Eight years later he matriculated at the University of Chicago and met Professor Frank A. Manny, whom he followed to New York to teach at the Ethical Culture School and continue his studies at New York University. As a faculty member at the Ethical Culture School Hine was introduced to photography.

From 1904 until his death he documented a series of sites and conditions in the USA and Europe. In 1906 he became a photographer and field worker for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC). Undercover, disguised among other things as a Bible salesman or photographer for post-cards or industry, Hine went into American factories. His research methodology was based on photographic documentation and interviews.

Together with the NCLC he worked to place the working conditions of two million American children onto the political agenda. The NCLC later said that Hine's photographs were decisive in the 1938 passage of federal law governing child labor in the United States. In 1918 Hine left the NCLC for the Red Cross and their work in Europe. After a short period as an employee, he returned to the United States and began as an independent photographer.

One of Hine's last major projects was the series Men at Work, published as a book in 1932. It is a homage to the worker that built the country, and it documents such things as the construction of the Empire State Building. In 1940 Hine died abruptly after several years of poor income and few commissions. Even though interest in his work was increasing, it was not until after his death that Hine was raised to the stature of one of the great photographers in the history of the medium.
Frank F. Gibson, 1305 Linden St. Western Union Telegraph Co. Messenger No. 7. 14 years of age. 1 year in service. Visits houses of prostitution. Guides soldiers to segregated district. Smokes. Still at school and works from 8:30 P.M. to 12:30 A.M. Investigator, Edward F. Brown.  Location: Wilmington, Delaware / Photo by Louis [i.e. Lewis] W. Hine, May, 1910.
1897
1897
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1930
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1930
1,384 Media in collectionpage 2 of 14

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Knitters in Loudon. Hosiery Mills, Loudon Tennessee, USA, December 1910..NMFF.003517

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .This was the only small newsie I could find in the vicinity of Brooklyn Bridge after midnight. Said he stayed out until 3 o'clock. Moses Markowitz, 171 Allen St., 14 yrs. old..Brooklyn Bridg... more

11:00 A.M. Monday, May 9th, 1910. Newsies at Skeeter's Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1908 Lewis Hine accepted a position as chief investigator and photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), a private organization founded in 1904 to promote legislation to protect children fro... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine , Lewis Wickes.Mrs. Lucy Libertine and family: Johnnie, 4 years old; Mary, 6 years; Millie, 9 [?] years, picking nuts in the basement tenement, 143 Hudson St. Mary was standing in the open mouth of the bag... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Ronald Webb, twelve year old doffer boy and Frank Robinson, seven year old who helps sweep and doff. Father is cardroom boss, Roanoke (Va.) Cotton Mills. Location: Roanoke, Virginia, USA, May 1911

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Some of the young workers (not the youngest) in the Kosciusko Cotton Mills. Superintendent objected to me taking photographs. .Location: Kosciusko, Mississippi.NMFF.001725

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.All these children five years, six years, seven years, nine years and two a little older, were picking cotton on H.M. Lane's farm Bells, Texas, USA 1913. Only one adult, an aunt was picking. ... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Workers at the weavingmachines in The Flint Cotton Mill. Fall River, USA 1912..The Flint Cotton Mill, Spinning room..NMFF.003476

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .Stilas med en arbeider. Oppføringen av Empire State Building, New York, USA. .NMFF.000835

Newsboy asleep on stairs with papers, Jersey City, New Jersey

The extensive career of Lewis Hine falls into three interrelated bodies of photographs: immigrants at Ellis Island, studies of child labor, and industrial workers. The last series came to be known as Men at Wor... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .Oppføringen av Empire State Building.Bærebjelker og arbeidere. New York. .NMFF.003711

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Force working in West Point Cotton Mills.NMFF.003479

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .Elvira Christofano, 110 Spruce [?] St., Providence, making chain-bags. Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA, november 1912. .(For Child Welfare Exhibit 1912-13.) .NMFF.003569

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Mart Payne, 5 years old, picks from 10 to 20 pounds a day. Mother said: "Mart, he haint old nuff to go to school much, but he kin pick his 20 pounds a day. Mostly 10 or 15 pounds." ... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Tony Casale (Called Bologna), 11 years old been selling 4 years. Sells until 10 P.M. some times. Hos paper boss told me the boy had shown him the marks on his arm .. .NMFF.003512

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.One of America´s youngest newsboys. 4 year old and regular seller..NMFF.003516

Boy carrying hats. Blee[c]ker St., N.Y.

In 1908 Hine left his teaching position at the progressive Ethical Culture School in New York to become a staff photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. The same year, he described his pictures in ... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine , Lewis Wickes.Night scene. 7:30 P.M. January 29, 1912. Making violets, and they often work later. Pollinni family, 5 Carmine St., N.Y. living in a reary [i.e., rear.] tenement. The six year old helps some... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Beaumont is overrun with little newsies. This boy, Vincent Serio, eight years old, is up at 5:00 A.M. daily. Have sold papers since I was four years old;..NMFF.003513

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .Selling on Main Street in the afternoon hours. The majority sell no later than 7 P.M..Buffalo, New York State 1910-1920. .NMFF.003537

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine , Lewis Wickes.Workers on gloves, crowded into a small kitchen (photograph very inadequatly represents congestion) Dallavalla, 50 Mc Dougal St. New York City / Jan. 1912 / ......NMFF.003524

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes.Young girl working at a knittingmachine at Cherokee Hosiery Mill. Rome i Georgia, USA 1913..All these are workers in the Cherokee Hosiery Mill, Rome, Ga. Noon, Apr. 10, 1913. The youngest are... more

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .The Davison family, 1312 Tampa Street. William is 14 years old. Been selling for 9 years. George 12 years. Peter 7 years..Tampa, Florida USA 1913. .NMFF.001739

Ellis Island Immigrant Portraits

Hine, Lewis Wickes .Boligkvarter ved Floyd Cotton Mill. Georgia, USA 1913. .NMFF.003471

Three National Child Labor Committee Exhibition Panels

Trained as a sociologist at Columbia University, Lewis Hine gave up his New York City teaching job in 1908 to become a full-time photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Created four years earlier,... more