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Today Open today 11–5

Newsies at Skeeter Branch, St. Louis, Missouri, 11:00 a.m.

A work made of gelatin silver print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


May 9, 1910


Lewis Wickes Hine
American, 1874–1940

About this artwork

Beginning in 1906, Lewis Hine was employed by the National Child Labor Committee to photograph and investigate scenes of child labor across the country. He produced some five thousand images of deplorable working and living conditions for children—some just four or five years old—in coal mines, cotton mills, canneries, and farms, sometimes posing as a fire inspector or postcard salesman to gain access. Hine composed his images to elicit sympathy from viewers, adding captions noting his subjects’ ages, heights, or work histories. Interested in art as a means to enhance persuasion and critical thinking rather than to create things of rarefied beauty, Hine distributed his photographs in reformist or popular magazines; they were also made into graphic posters and employed as lantern slides in lectures. It was relatively hard to inspire compassion for those in the “street trades,” especially newspaper delivery boys (newsies), whom contemporary literature both valorized and sentimentalized. The committee, however, demonstrated that in no other occupation were children so unsupervised and that the harsh city environment exposed them to physical danger and adult vices. The young boys seen here, smoking like their elders, seem prematurely hardened to life on the street.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Lewis Wickes Hine


Newsies at Skeeter Branch, St. Louis, Missouri, 11:00 a.m.


United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1910


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, upper left, in graphite: "1384"; verso, center, in graphite: "Newsboys [sic]"; verso, center, upside-down, in graphite: "2 [?] Col [?] / The [?] Call [?]"; verso, lower right, in graphite: "2 [encircled]"


Image: 8.9 × 11.5 cm (3 9/16 × 4 9/16 in.); Paper: 12.6 × 17.8 cm (5 × 7 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Charles and Ruth Levy Foundation

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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