Photographer Lewis Hine was tasked with being the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee from 1908. Lewis traveled across the country, documenting child labor, and endured constant threats from factory owners as the existence of child labor was supposed to be kept away from the public’s eye. However, Hine persisted, adopting many different disguises (such as a fire inspector or a bible salesman) to take photos and interview the children working at factories or in the streets.
Hind used his camera as a tool for social commentary and reform, focusing on the dangerous and appalling conditions that the children had to work in. Risking his own safety, Hine snapped thousands of photographs with one goal – to end child labor. And of course, spreading the photographs, in the form of pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines paid off as the federal government eventually had to put out stricter labor laws.
Scroll down below to see a selection of Hine’s photographs and don’t forget to tell us what you think.