Image description: A five-year-old child laborer named Manuel stands before a mountain of oyster shells in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1912. This image was part of a series of 5,000 photographs taken by Lewis Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. They were used by the Department of Commerce and Labor’s Children’s Bureau in both its investigations of child labor issues and advocacy for federal legislation to limit workplace abuses against children.
Hines took pictures of children working as harvesters in agricultural field work; pickers in seafood, vegetable, and fruit canneries; workers in cotton mills and glass, furniture, and cigar factories; as “breaker boys” in coal mines; and more.
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.