punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

This is one of my favorite pictures by Lewis Hine

There was a time in our nation's history, less than 100 years ago, where small children were a source of cheap labor.  Many of these kids got paid a few cents a day, and many impoverished parents depended on their income just to keep food on the table. This is one of the reasons they have truancy laws; many of these kids were taken from school where they might have learned enough to have a better life. Often, if these kids did go to school, it was after a night shift, and many of them simply fell asleep in class because it weas the only time they really got sleep.

One of the most haunting items about this picture is a child, turning away from the dull and grime of her work, and facing the outside with a blank stare that hides just the hint of a wistful look. Like we're watching childhood dying.
Tags: factory, hine, photo, sewing
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