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Definition: Hine, Lewis Wickes from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US sociologist and photographer. His dramatic photographs of child labour conditions in US factories at the beginning of the 20th century led to changes in state and local labour laws.

Summary Article: Hine, Lewis
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

1874–1940, American photographer, b. Oshkosh, Wis. Hine dedicated much of his photographic career, which began shortly after he bought his first camera in 1903, to exposing in sharp, painful images the social evils of the industrial revolution in the United States. He photographed the poverty of newly arrived immigrants and the street and factory life of working children. Many of these were published in such early collections as Charities and the Commons (1908) and Day Laborers before Their Time (1909). Hine's visual emphasis on their plight helped to bring about the passage of child-protection legislation in 1916. Hines also detailed the effects of war on the land and people of Europe, the complex relationship of man and machine, the construction of the Empire State Building (Men at Work, 1932), the effects of drought in the South, and the influence of a Tennessee Valley Authority dam program on the life of a rural community. Hine's work reflects concern, compassion, and a crusading idealism. The power of his images placed him at the forefront of 20th-century documentary photographers.

  • See International Museum of Photography, Lewis Wicke Hine's Interpretive Photography: The Six Early Projects (1978).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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