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Young Italian Workers by Lewis Wickes Hine

New York, December 1911. "143 Hudson Street, ground floor. Mrs. Salvia; Joe, 10 years old; Josephine, 14 years old; Camille, 7 years old. Picking nuts in a dirty tenement home. The bag of cracked nuts (on chair) had been standing open all day waiting for the children to get home from school. The mangy cat (under table) roamed about over everything. Baby is sleeping in the dark inner bedroom (three yrs. old)." Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

February 1, 1917. Vincenzo Messina, 15 years old, and brother Angelo, 11 years old, baking bread for their father at 174 Salem Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Vincenzo is working nights now. Angelo helps a great deal, tends store and helps bake, too. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

New York. December 1911. "5 p.m. Mrs. Mary Mauro, 309 E. 110th St., 2nd floor. Family works on feathers (sewing them together for use as a hat trimming). Make $2.25 a week. In vacation two or three times as much. Victoria, 8 yrs. Angelina 10 yrs. (a neighbor). Frorandi 10 yrs. Maggie 11 yrs. All work except two boys against wall. Father is street cleaner and has steady job. Girls work until 7 or 8 p.m. Once Maggie worked until 10 p.m." Glass plate by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

February 1, 1917. Boston, Massachusetts. "Frank De Natale, a 12-year old barber. Lathers and shaves customers in father's shop, 416 Hanover Street, after school and Saturday." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

September 1911. Lawrence, Massachusetts. "Group of workers. The small boy in the middle is Secondino Libro, 34 Walnut Street. Apparently 10 or 11. Works in No. 4 Spinning room." Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. 


Cincinnati, August 1908. "Lena Lochiavo, 11 years old, 209 West Sixth Street. Basket [and pretzel] seller at Sixth Street Market in front of saloon entrance." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

August 1908, Cincinnati. "Lena Lochiavo, 11 years old, Basket Seller, Sixth Street Market. Saloon entrance. 11 p.m. Had been there since 10 a.m. and not yet sold out."

November 1911. Chicopee, Massachusetts. Tony Soccha [Scocca?], 65 Exchange Place. Bobbin boy in #7 Room at Dwight Manufacturing; been working there for a year. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

November 1912. Providence, Rhode Island. "Girls 6, 9 and 11 years old, working on chain-bags in home of Mrs. Antonio Caruso, 132 Knight Street." Imaged from a glass negative taken by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

March 1909. Hartford, Connecticut. Tony Casale (also called "Bologna"), eleven years old. Been selling four years. Sells until 10 P.M. sometimes. His paper boss told me the boy had shown him the marks on his arm where his father had bitten him for not selling more papers. The boy said, "Drunken men say bad words to us." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, 1909. Newark, N.J. Nicholas Giuseppi, 65 River St. Sells until later than this. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

1909, December - Smallest boy is Mike Ferinco. 75 Monroe St., 10 yrs. old. Sells until 8:30 P.M., Newark, New Jersey. Other is Edoardo Feriari, 60 Monroe St. Sells until after 9 P.M.

May 21, 1910. "Joseph Severio, Peanut Vendor. Wilmington, Delaware. 11 years of age. Pushing cart 2 years. Out after midnight. Ordinarily works 6 hours per day. Works of own volition. Doesn't smoke. All earnings go to father." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

New York City, January 1913. "1 p.m. Family of Onofrio Cottone, 7 Extra Place, finishing garments in a terribly run down tenement. The father works on the street. The three oldest children help the mother on garments: Joseph, 14, Andrew, 10, Rosie, 7, and all together they make about $2 a week when work is plenty. There are two babies."

December 1911. Family of Mrs. Mette making flowers in a very dirty tenement, 302 Mott Street, top floor. Josephine, 13, helps outside school hours until 9 P.M. sometimes. She is soon to be 14 and expects to go to work in an embroidery factory. Says she worked in that factory all last summer. Nicholas, 6 years old and Johnnie, 8 yrs. The old work some. All together earn only 40 to 50 cents a day. Baby (20 months old) plays with the flowers, and they expect he can help a little before long. The father drives a coach (or hack) irregularly. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.  

November 1912. South Framingham, Massachusetts. "Home of Rufine Morini, 6 Coburn Street. Two mothers, three children 10, 8 and 6 years old, working on tags for Dennison. Children anaemic. Make $10 (more or less) a month. Witness, F.A. Smith." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

1912 Italian family crocheting bags. Father sick in bed (not contagious). (For complete details see Miss E.C. Watson's report.) Location: New York, New York (State) 

A young leader and a driver, Shaft #6, Pennsylvania Coal Company mine at Pittston. Pasquale Salvo and Sandy Castina. January 1911. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. 

January 1911. "Serafino driving Chub, his mule. Shaft #7, Pennsylvania Coal Company mine at South Pittston." Bright spots are open flames of lamps on the boys' hats. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

Cincinnati, August 1908. "Marie Costa, basket seller, lives at 605 Elm Street. Sixth Street Market, 9 p.m. Had been there since 10 a.m. Sister and friend help her." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

Children from school No. 2 in the Italian district Terrace[?] nr. Genesee St. Many of these children spend their summer vacations in the canning and fruit picking settlements where their parents go to work during the season. Feb. 8, 1910, Buffalo, N.Y. Location: Buffalo, New York (State)

1910 February - Group of Italian Newsies on South Ave., selling in saloons, and stores. Had just come out of saloon in front of which they are standing. Behind them two typical saloon-patrons who insisted on being in the picture. 10 P.M. Cold. Snowing. Left to right: Joseph Inquagguito, 15 years, 3 Vetter St. Frank Manuel, 10 years old, 21 Fillander St. Tony Nessera, 12 years, 85 Waite St. Tony Compesse, 9 years old, 18 Vetter St. Sam Compesse, 12 years old, 18 Vetter St. Location: Syracuse, New York (State)

1910 February - Italian newsies selling on Main St. at 10 P.M. Left to right: Lawrence Ferrer, 12 years old, 76 Front Ave.; Mathew Chinera, 11 years old, 58 E. Prier St.; Steve Cajuto, 11 years old, 218 7 th St.; Rosario De Salvio, 11 years old, 81 Trenton Street. Location: Buffalo, New York (State)


 March 1910 - Group in School #1 in Buffalo, New York (State). From left to right: 1) Angeline Cortesi, 195 Trenton Ave., 13 years old last summer. Worked in factory at Hamburg, made 50 cents a day. Entered November 20th, and is doing excellent work. 2) Frances Pringvalli, 110 Georgia St., 12 years old last summer. Worked in Cherry Creek Canning Factory, husking corn. Entered school October 12th. 3) Minnie Leffero, 116 Georgia St., 10 years old last summer. Worked on corn and beans in sheds of Albion Canning Factory. Entered this school January 10th, from St. Anthony School. 4) Lena Ballanca, 209 7th St., 11 years old last summer. Went to Canada and helped mother shell peas and snip beans. Lost about 56 days of school. Was good last year but not so good this year. 5) Rose Capenti, 203 7th St., 13 years old last summer. A cannery worker. Entered school November 2d. 6) Anna Barone, 114 Trenton Ave., 9 years old last summer. Worked at home stringing beans for Cherry Creek Factory. 7) Charles Gullo, 115 Wilkinson St., 9 years old last summer. Worked Albion Factory made about $2.50 a week. Lost 7 weeks school time.

 

March 1910 - Group of Cannery Workers, School #1, Buffalo, N.Y. (from left to right): 1) Rose Paralto, 12 years old last summer. Helped mother on strawberries, Canning Factory, Simcoe, Canada. Entered school , January 3d, 1910. Last year, school work excellent, this year not good. 2) Josephine Pellina, 10 years old last summer. Strings beans in sheds of Forestville[sic?], Cannery. Came to school in September. 3) Christian Cengo, 10 years old last summer. Worked stringing beans in sheds Forrestville Cannery sometimes until 8 or 9 P.M. 4) Anna Gengo, 10 years old last summer. Sheds of Forrestville Cannnery. 5) Metea Spana, 13 years old last summer. Worked on peas and beans in the sheds of Eden Center Canning Factory. 6) Josephine Leone, 12 years old last summer. Helped in the sheds at Barker Cannery. 7) Frances Imperllario, 11 years old last summer. Worked on berries Cherry Creek Factory. 8) Mary Lefesso, 12 years old last summer. Worked at Barker Canning Factory. Entered school October 22d. 

Italian family living 428 E. 116th St., 2 floor back. I couldn't get their names. Have been in U.S. only one month. Mother is learning to make lace for factory near by. Location: New York, New York (State)

Indianapolis Fruit Venders, Italian Boys, August 1908

"Fire- Fire - I Want to Make the Fire." An Italian Boy on Salem Street on Saturday Morning, offering to make fires for Jewish People. Boston, Massachusetts, October 9, 1909.

A group of berry pickers from Philadelphia on Giles Farm, Seaford Del. The children came before school vacation. They are now ready to leave Seaford and go to Riverton, N.J. to continue picking. Working yesterday from 6 A.M. to 3 P.M. They are all Italians. The boy who is smoking is confined in a Truant School of Philadelphia. He smokes 15 ciagarettes [i.e., cigarettes] a day. Sold papers in Philadelphia for some time. Seaford, Delaware, May 1910.

The Arnao is a family of berry pickers in the fields of Truitt's farm. This is an Italian family coming from Phildelphia and now ready to go to Carmel, New Jersey to continue picking. The family consists of: 1 child 3 years of age, 1 child 6 years of age, 2 children 7 years of age, 1 child 9 years of age, 1 child 10 years of age, 1 child 11 years of age. All of whom pick. Cannon, Delaware. May 1910.

Abbe, said 10 years old, who picks 10 pails a day. Also two young illiterate Italians.  Rochester [vicinity] Eldridge Bog, Massachusetts, September 1911. 

Salvino Nocito, 5 years old, carries 2 pecks of cranberries for long distance to the bushel-man. Whites Bog, Browns Mills, New Jersey, Sept. 28, 1910

5-year-old Rosie Passeralla, 1116 Annan Street, Philadelphia. Been picking here two years. Whites Bog, Browns Mills, New Jersey, Sept. 28, 1910

Teresa Lamelli, 818 Kate St., Philadelphia, 5 years old. Whites Bog, Browns Mills, New Jersey, Sept. 28, 1910

Jennie Capparomie, 708 S. Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 5 years old. Whites Bog, Browns Mills, New Jersey, Sept. 28, 1910

The De Marco family. Forsythe's Bog, Turkeytown near Pemberton, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 1910

Pete, the Padrone, and family and neighbors. Girl tending baby in sun. Forsythe's Bog, Turkeytown near Pemberton, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 1910

The Marnielli family. Forsythe's Bog, Turkeytown near Pemberton, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 1910

Teresa carrying peck of cranberries weighing about 15 poundslong distance to bushel man. Forsythe's Bog, Turkeytown near Pemberton, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 1910

The Framo Family. Forsythe's Bog, Turkeytown near Pemberton, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 1910

La Grossa family, 2 children and mother.Forsythe's Bog, Turkeytown near Pemberton, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 1910

Home of Desiderio Cella, 11 Coburn Street, So. Framingham, Mass. Children - 13, 12, 10, 8, 7 years old working on tags in dirty room with macaroni all spread out on table being cut. Tag tying going on at same table. Washing also in dirty kitchen. South Framingham, Massachusetts, November 1912.

(For Child Welfare Exhibit 1912-13.) Cigarettes, Spruce St., Italian Boys, Providence, Rhode Island, November 23, 1912. 

 (For Child Welfare Exhibit 1912-13.) Crowded Italian home, 46 Crary St., Providence, Rhode Island,  November 26, 1912. 

1912 - Delivering bread in the Italian District, Spruce St., Providence, Rhode Island. (For Child Welfare Exhibit 1912-13.) 

1912 - Home and fruit stand of the Cavicchio family. 64 Bedford Street. Somerville, Mass. Both the mother and Mary, 10 years old, worked off and on all day out here with the soot from the passing engines dropping so fast it had to be shaken off. A new tunnel is being dug in front of the house. Mother and Mary tend the fruit stand while crocheting and the work is thrown over the railing and fence near by. Their garments are filthy and grimy. 

Photos taken by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Commission and its report to Congress.

 

SOURCE:

Library of Congress

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