I feel shamed to admit it, but this photograph has been forever etched into my mind, years ago, as possibly the best photo I have ever seen, of portraying ‘looking cool’.
Slight shame about acknowledging this effortlessly ‘cool’ look stems from learning this photograph is part of a social documentary set by Lewis W. Hine focusing on child labour. Ahh, child labour, not so cool now. This particular set is called ‘Newsies’. I don’t know why but even the slang name for their line of work oozes coolness. It was taken at 11am in St. Louis, Missouri between 1908-1912.
Too many details were recorded about this following lad leading this image to be disturbing.
These ‘Newsies’ sold Newspapers (believe it or not) and could get physically punished by their families for not selling enough so they would often work late into the night.
Another memorable photo from the ‘Newsies’ set is this following one, quite sweet this one, of a little group of chaps ‘playing craps in the jail alley at 10pm’, taking the opportunity for a bit of light relief. This one particularly looks like it is from the set of a film, but it is real.
This next photo has also been forever etched into my mind as the most haunting photograph I have ever seen. It is from the set documenting child miners.
Hine also photographed child factory workers, guess what they produced in this Florida factory?…
The rest of the 5000+ photos Hine took of child labour can be viewed here http://www.lewishinephotographs.com/thumbnails