Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940

Alternative names
Birth 1874-09-26
Death 1940-11-04

Biographical notes:

Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940), an American photographer, began his career as a teacher at the Ethical Culture School in New York City. He first used a camera to record activities at the school. Subsequently he photographed immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, the shocking condition of child laborers throughout the U.S., the activities of the American Red Cross in World War I, and workers in various industries. He was commissioned to create photo-essays for industry and periodicals. His early photographs of child labor played an important part in bringing about legislative reforms.

From the description of Lewis Hine papers, ca. 1908-ca. 1921. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122455945

From the guide to the Lewis Hine papers, ca. 1908-ca. 1921, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940), documentary photographer, in 1908 he was hired by the National Child Labor Committee to document child labor conditions in the United States.

From the description of Lewis Wickes Hine photographs, 1909-1913. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38478231

Lewis Wickes Hine was born on September 26, 1874 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He left school at the age of fifteen to work, but he continued his education by taking extension courses. He studied at the University of Chicago from 1900 to 1901, and Columbia University and New York University from 1901 to 1905. While studying, he also worked at the Ethical Culture School in New York City. He received a Pd.M. degree from New York University in 1905. He married Sara Ann Rich in 1904, and they had one son, Corydon Lewis. Hine began photographing subjects in New York in 1903, including the Ethical Culture School, immigrants at Ellis Island, and immigrants as they settled in America. In 1909, he began working as a photographer for the magazine "Charities and the Commons" (later titled "Survey"). He took photographs of child labor practices for the National Child Labor Committee, which were published between 1907 and 1914. Hine was also sent abroad by the American Red Cross at the end of World War I, to photograph relief activities. After the war, he continued to photograph the workingman and industry, such as the construction of the Empire State Building in 1931. A collection of his industrial photographs were published in 1932 in the book "Men at Work". He died at Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, on November 3, 1940.

From the description of Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10580918

Lewis Wickes Hine was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the son of Douglas Hine, the operator of a coffee shop, and Sarah Hayes. Hines left Oshkosh after graduating from high school and working at a variety of menial jobs. In 1900 he enrolled at the University of Chicago for one year. In 1901 he began teaching nature study in New York City at the Ethical Culture School, upon the invitation of recently appointed superintendent Frank A. Manny, formerly a professor at the Oshkosh State Normal School. Hine added photography to his school teaching in 1903 or 1904. In 1904 he married Sara Ann Rich. While teaching he attended New York University's School of Education and received a Pd.M. (education) degree in 1905. In the summer of 1908 he left the school to do photography full time, beginning a career built around a sympathetic portrayal of workers' humanity and dignity. Urban immigrants, child laborers, and steelworkers and their families in Pittsburgh comprised Hine's major prewar projects. One of Hine's early National Child Labor Committee assignments investigated child labor in the textile mills of the Carolinas. He named mills in the captions while the children remained anonymous. National Biography Online http://www.anb.org (Retrieved March 24, 2009)

From the description of Lewis Wickes Hine photographs, 1909-1915. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 378936347


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  • Industries--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • Mills and mill-work--Photographs
  • Georgia--Manufactures--Photographs
  • Emigration and immigration--Social aspects
  • Child labor--Photographs
  • Construction workers--Portraits
  • Child labor
  • Documentary photography
  • Photography--United States
  • Photography
  • Working class--Dwellings--Photographs
  • Poverty
  • Children--Employment--Photographs
  • Commercial buildings
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Working class--Photographs
  • Urban poor
  • Photographers
  • Skyscrapers


  • Photographers


  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) (as recorded)
  • Augusta (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • Georgia--Augusta (as recorded)
  • Georgia--Tifton (as recorded)
  • Rome (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Rossville (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Valdosta (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Lindale (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • LaGrange (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Georgia--Rome (as recorded)
  • Tifton (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Columbus (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Georgia--Lindale (as recorded)
  • Macon (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • Georgia--Rossville (as recorded)
  • LaFayette (Ga.) (as recorded)