As we did background research on amputees around the world for our ongoing project in Haiti, this picture of an American child worker in 1909 really stood out. The difference between medical care, workplace safety, and child labor laws in 1909 and 2010 is truly vast. Hine's photography arguably had something to do with that.
Lewis Hine/Library of Congress
Neil Gallagher, Wilkes Barre, Pa. Born January 14, 1891. Went to work at about 9 years. Worked about two years in breaker. Went inside at about 11 years. "Tripper," tending door. 83 cents [a] day. Injured May 2, 1904. Leg crushed between cars. Amputated at Mercy Hospital, Wilkes Barre. Amputated twice. No charge. Received nothing from company. "Was riding between cars and we aren't supposed to ride between them." No written rules, but they tell you not to.