Working Children of Nashville in the 1900s

  • March 24, 2015
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We do a lot of photos of buildings, including the recent ones we did of Nashville. They’re great, but it’s time to share some cool old photos of people. Here is a great series of photos that we dug up at the Library of Congress, showing the regular people of Nashville in the early 1900s. These images are obviously taken well before any substantive child labor laws.

May Hosiery Mills. The boy is Harvey Curtis, 12 years old, turns stockings. Made $1.41 this week, out of which he paid sixty cents carfare.

Source: Library of Congress

All working in May Hosiery Mills, youngest boy admitted ten years of age and been working there 9 months. He is already afflicted with eye-trouble and carries his head much on one side.

Source: Library of Congress

Workers in May Hosiery Mills

Source: Library of Congress

Group of young girls, all working in May Hosiery Mills.

A. W.U. Messenger. Richard Tuck, #63, 13 years old. Sometimes works nights.

Source: Library of Congress

Two 7 year old Nashville newsies, profane and smart, selling Sunday.

Source: Library of Congress

Philip Weinstein, 8 years old, and an older boy who uses him as a decoy. Philip sells until 10 & 11 P.M. sometimes. Photo taken at 11 A.M. Philip said he player [sic?] hookey a week and they fired him. A good many young truants on the street those days.

Source: Library of Congress

Group of Nashville newsies. In middle of group is 7-year-old Sam. Smart and profane. He sells nights also.

Source: Library of Congress

9-year-old Sol, A Nashville newsie, selling Sunday morning.

Source: Library of Congress

A young truant newsie, during school hours.

Source: Library of Congress

George Christopher, Postal Tel. #7, 14 years old. Been at it over 3 years. Does not work nights.

Source: Library of Congress