Children Working in a Shrimp Cannery (1911)
This 1911 photograph depicts workers, including two young children, picking shrimp in a cannery in Biloxi, Mississippi. Shrimp canneries often employed entire families, many of them immigrants, who worked peeling, cleaning, and cooking shrimp that was then packaged to be sold to American consumers. The photographer, Lewis Hine, was a sociologist and muckraker (an investigative journalist who exposed sources of corruption in various American institutions). Hine used photography to reveal problems within American labor systems; much of his photography highlighted the work being done by children. Hine's caption for this image said "Eight-year-old Max, one of the young shrimp pickers in the Dunbar, Lopez, Dukate Company. Only a small force was working that day." In 1908, Hine became the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, a organization dedicated to protecting child laborers and raising awareness about the conditions in which many worked. Eventually, his photographs played a critical role in the passage of child labor laws in the United States.
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Cite This document | “Children Working in a Shrimp Cannery (1911) ,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 11, 2023, https://shec.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/3352.