21 October 2014
In the 1900s Many of Your Ancestors Worked, as Children, in Factories, Mines and Other Dangerous Places
As stated on Upworthy, Once In A While, Somebody Comes Along And Captures Images That Change A Nation
Some of the most disturbing images that were captured in the early part of the 1900s were those of kids working in factories, coal mines, and other places where no kids belonged. The most famous photographer was Lewis Hine; his pictures brought these children into the spotlight in a way the nation could no longer ignore.
There is a video at the end with many images of child laborers ... they didn’t have childhoods like what many of us had. It’s well worth taking 3.5 minutes to watch it. Maybe some of your ancestors were child laborers and worked under these conditions.
You can check out more images in the National Child Labor Committee Collection (Library of Congress). I searched on
since my ancestors were emigrating between 1900-1910 into that community. Many of the photos do identify who the
children were. Salem Massachusetts
This website, The History Place, also has a webpage devoted to Child Labor in America 1908-1912, Photographs of Lewis W. Hine. I also found this website interesting, Child Labor Public Education Project. Upfront with NGS previously talked a bit about this same project in the post Photo + Genealogy Sleuthing = 100+ Year Mystery Solved.
This is a reminder that as we do our research, we have to consider the time and the place and what were considered the norms. You cannot look at your life now and use that as the benchmark for your ancestors. Do learn the history of where they lived, what was acceptable and not. Though we may not agree with child labor, there also used to be laws on the books that might be nice if we still had them such not swearing in public (you could be fined), etc
Do you know if your ancestors worked as child laborers? If so, doing what?
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
I'm reading: In the 1900s Many of Your Ancestors Worked, as Children, in Factories, Mines and Other Dangerous Places