For centuries in the United States, child labor was all too common.

Despite efforts from educators to encourage primary school, an immigration boom in the latter half of the 19th century resulted in a new pool of child workers. The influx of low-earning, compliant young laborers coincided with the rapid expansion of industrial positions in mills and factories.

Children worked long hours, often in cramped, dangerous conditions, to help support their families.

At the turn of the 20th century, social reformers took aim at child labor.

The National Child Labor Committee used photography to bring attention to the children's abysmal working conditions and push for reform at the state level.

1. Lalar Blanton, 10, sneaks a glimpse outside during her shift at the Rhodes Manufacturing Co. in Lincolnton, North Carolina. (1908)


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