Smugtown video study guide Study Guide Main Smugtown Video




  1. Many Lewis Hine photographs show children in fields, factories, coal mines and textile mills working under unsafe conditions. What do you think their work conditions were like? Why would children do these jobs? What kinds of jobs do young people perform today? What are their working conditions like?
  2. George Eastman, a well-known philanthropist, resisted his workers' attempts to unionize. Is a community better served through gifts from the wealthy or through the payment of higher wages to workers?
  3. What restrictions are there on child labor in the U.S.? Why should child labor be restricted?


  1. Research the New York State laws governing the employment of minors, noting conditions like agricultural work, under which minors of varying age may work. Why are some jobs excluded from certain restrictions? Are these laws appropriate? Are they necessary? Are they enforced? If so, how?
  2. Examine photographs by Lewis Hine. Discuss why Hine is called a "social photographer."




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child labor: the use of young people as workers, generally in poorly regulated workplaces at low wages. Laws limiting the age of child workers and the kind and hours of work they may do have been resisted by employers. (In 1999 250 million third world children ages 5-15 worked).


Map/Guide, # 8, 44
Russell Freedman, Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor. (1944)
Lewis Wickes Hine, Men at Work. (1977);
Lewis Wickes Hine, Women at Work. (ed., Jonathan Doherty, 1981)
Council for Citizenship Education, The Working Teenager: A Teacher's Guide... (1992)
American Federation of Teachers, Child Labor: A Selection of Materials on Children in the Workplace. (1998)
U.S. Department of Labor, By the Sweat and Toil of Children. (Several volumes, varied dates).