Take your Child to Work Day
One of the spinners in Whitnel Cotton Mill. She was 51 inches high. Has been in the mill one year. Sometimes works at night. Runs 4 sides - 48 [cents] a day. When asked how old she was, she hesitated, then said, “I don’t remember,” then confidentially, “I’m not old enough to work, but do just the same.” Out of 50 employees, ten children about her size. Whitnel, N.C., 12/22/1908
Taken by investigative photographer Lewis Hine, this photograph is one of a series of black-and-white prints given to the Children’s Bureau by the National Child Labor Committee. The almost five hundred photographs represent a fraction of the approximately 5,000 photographs Hine took for the committee to document working and living conditions for children.
(A sobering reminder that bringing children to work was not always a purely educational experience or a special occasion.)
We’ll be observing Take Your Child to Work Day at the National Archives on the week of May 5, to coincide with Public Service Recognition Week. Stay tuned!