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United States Labor History

Selected Primary Sources

Lewis Hines, photographing child labor

Lewis Hines, photographer--For more information

Girls running warping machines in Loray mill, Gastonia, N.C. Many boys and girls much younger. Boss carefully avoided them, and when I tried to get a photo which would include a mite of a boy working at a machine, he was quickly swept out of range. "He isn't working here."
(Photo courtesy of the National Child Labor Committee (U.S.), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540)

Karl Marx on Child Labor

…the more enlightened part of the working class fully understands that the future of its class, and, therefore, of mankind, altogether depends upon the formation of the rising working generation. They know that, before everything else, the children and juvenile workers must be saved from the crushing effects of the present system.
Excerpt from Karl Marx, Geneva Congress Resolutions, 1866.