Photography: Lewis Wickes Hine
Lewis Wickes Hine (September 26, 1874 – November 3, 1940)
Lewis Wickes Hine was a sociologist and photographer working on the East Coast at the turn of the century and well into the 30’s. In 1908 he was hired by the National Child Labor Commitee to document the horrible conditions of kids working in the steel making districts of Pittsburgh Penn, (un-pictured). His work was instumental in changing the child labor laws. The shots included here are of very young Newsies having a smoke break taken around 1916-18.
In 1930 he was commisioned to document the construction of the Empire State Building. Hine photographed the workers in precarious positions while they secured the iron and steel framework of the structure, taking many of the same risks as the workers. In order to obtain the best vantage points, Hine was swung out in a specially designed basket 1,000 feet above Fifth Avenue. These shots make my head spin. How the hell did these guys walk and work these beams much less sleep on them.