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Lewis Wickes Hine (1874–1940) was a photographer and social reformer best known for his thousands of photographs documenting practices of child labor in the United States for the National Child Labor Committee. The National Child Labor Committee was founded in 1904; Hine produced over 5,000 images of working children between 1906 and 1918—a period during which it is estimated that millions of laborers under 16 years of age were employed in the United States in some capacity.

The child subjects in Hine’s photographs work in a range of industries such as cotton (from the fields to the mills), mining, canning, agriculture, other factory work, home piecework, and newspaper sales. Hine’s documentary style frequently emphasizes children’s dirty faces, unkempt hair, and clothes in poor condition. Many ...

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