33 Images From The Dark Days Of American Child labour

child labour LOC

Photo: Library of Congress

A recent NGO report says the global recession increased the incidence of child labour around the world.Perhaps that’s not surprising. But it got us wondering, why doesn’t the U.S. have child labour anymore?

The answer may seem obvious — we’re too wealthy for that kind of thing.

That’s mostly true.

But a landmark survey of child labour studies by Dartmouth economics professor Eric V. Edmonds paints a much more nuanced portrait of the situation.

We picked through Edmonds’ research to explain the absence and presence of child labour in a given country, and how the U.S. finally came to outgrow the phenomenon.

We’ve illustrated the story using snapshots taken by Lewis Hine, an investigative photographer for the National Child labour Committee (NCLC), who sought to portray working and living conditions of children in the United States between 1908 and 1924.

In addition to being a fascinating bit of US economic history, it’s also incredibly important for countries today that are dealing with the same issue.

Proximity to urban areas, which increases the likelihood that a child will attend school.

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