Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

Ephemeral New York

It’s hard to fathom now, but children did a lot of work in the 19th century and early 20th century city.

They sewed garments, hawked newspapers, shelled nuts, made artificial flowers (above, in 1908) and delivered heavy packages, navigating streets and strangers (below, on Bleecker Street, 1912, by Lewis Hine).

Social reformers such as Lewis Hine documented many of these working kids in New York and around the country, pushing for tougher child labor laws, which were routinely ignored on the local level.

Below, newsboys and bootblacks on Mulberry Bend

“By the late 1800s, states and territories had passed over 1,600 laws regulating work conditions and limiting or forbidding child labor,” explains “In many cases the laws did not apply to immigrants, thus they were often exploited and wound up living in slums working long hours for little pay.”

Above: a newsboy and a newsgirl at…

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This entry was posted on Nov 28, 2012 by in Kreuzberg.

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