Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Lewis Hine was a humanist whose photography helped to educate the American people of the problem of child labor and eliminate the practice in the U.S. After receiving his education at the University of Chicago and teaching at the Ethical Culture School in New York, Hine began to attend the School of Education at New York University. It was at this time that Hine began the photography that would make him famous.
In 1904, Hine's project involved photographing the immigrants at Ellis Island and their housing and working conditions. In 1907 Hine was given his first full-time assignment with the National Child Labor Committee in which he was to photograph the conditions of tenement homework He continued his powerful mission from 1908 until 1912 during which he traveled across the U.S. photographing conditions of child labor in many different settings. These photos show the haunting images of children bound to work in places like factories, mills, and street trades, to name a few. These pictures encouraged labor law reform and the implementation of safety laws. His subsequent projects included working with the American Red Cross, completing a series of photographs of the completion of the Empire State Building, and the release of a photo collection entitled Men at Work. His work remains as powerful today as it was during his crusade for just treatment of laborers.
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