Shining a light on a time when child labor laws were flouted by many, the photographs of Lewis Hine capture a bygone age when exploitation was rife, even in developed nations like the U.S. Far from presenting sepia-tinged images of a more innocent time, a time when an eight-year-old boy shining your shoes was an unremarkable occurrence, Hine’s photographs were taken as part of an investigation into the practice of child labor while working as a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee.

Travelling through American cities from New York to Houston, the collection identifies children working in a range of professions from bicycle couriers to street sellers, gum sellers to chicken vendors. Shot between 1908 and 1924 as labor laws were beginning to be enforced on a stricter basis, Hine’s photographs are an iconic reminder of the beginning of the end for large scale child labor in the America.

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