National Child Labor Committee Photo Archive
Lewis Wickes Hine was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1874. Hine studied sociology at the University of Chicago, Columbia University and New York University. He became a teacher in New York City at the Ethical Culture School, where he encouraged his students to use photography as an educational medium.
In 1908, he became the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), leaving his teaching position. Over the next decade, Hine documented child labor, with focus on labor in the Carolina Piedmont, in American industry to aid the NCLC’s lobbying efforts to end the practice. In 1913 he documented child laborers among cotton mill children with a series of Galton’s composite portraits.
After the depression, few people were interested in his work, past or present, and Hine lost his house and applied for welfare. He died at age 66 on November 3, 1940 at Dobbs Ferry Hospital in Dobbs Ferry, New York