“While I was photographing these workers, the watchman dragged out the smallest boy, saying, ‘Here photograph Pewee.’ Adams, Mass.”, 8/30/1911

Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, Photographer.  Series: National Child Labor Committee Photographs taken by Lewis Hine, ca. 1912 - ca. 1912. Record Group 102: Records of the Children’s Bureau, 1908 - 2003

Taken by investigative photographer Lewis Hine 105 years ago, this photograph is from a series of black-and-white prints given to the Children’s Bureau by the National Child Labor Committee.  

In the early 1900s, the government ordered the Children’s Bureau to conduct an investigation on child labor conditions throughout the United States.  The Children’s Bureau hoped these pictures would influence Congress to pass an amendment to regulate child labor.

In 1924, Congress proposed the Child Labor Amendment, but it wasn’t ratified by three-fourths of the states. Subsequent legislation was upheld, and the proposed amendment became moot.

Learn about other attempts to amend the Constitution at the “Amending America” exhibit now at the National Archives Museum, and featured on Tumblr at @usnatarchivesexhibits.