Viewing page 1 of 34

"Social Photographer"

By Elizabeth McCausland

Thirty-five years ago Lewis Hine began to photograph men at work, boys in gangs, city street scenes, Ellis Island immigrants, garment workers carrying bundles of unfinished clothing to complete in their home "sweatshops."
Thirty years ago he gave up teaching to enter the field of visual education as a "social photographer."
From 1908 on, his photographs of child labor, slum homes, coal mines, steel mines, cannery villages, construction camps, Negro tenements in Washington, drought victims in Arkansas in 1931, communities like Scotts Run, West Virginia, have been printed in numerous publications, such as the old Charities and the Commons, the Survey, the Outlook, Everybody's, and in studies like the Pittsburgh Survey of 1907-8 and Weller's Neglected Neighbors of the National Capital, as well as his own Men at Work.
Only the National Geographic (with its pictures of pierced noses etc.) found his work to "sordid" to publish:
During these years, Hine's work was widely used by social agencies, as the National Child Labor Committee, the National Consumers League, the Interchurch Council, and a dozen others.
Owen R Lovejoy, the Child Labor Committee's executive secretary, has written recently that Hine's photographs were "more responsi-
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact