Corunna, Michigan beet farmers and the photography of Lewis Wickes Hine

March 5, 2008

Corunna, Michigan beet farmers by Lewis Wickes Hine

Corunna, Michigan beet farmers, photo by Lewis Wickes Hine

This photo from the Library of Congress from July 17, 1917 is captioned: Jo Durco. This man, his wife and two children, Mary 8 years, Tony 10 years, do all the work on a large plot of beets. They are blocking and thinning now. Location: Corunna, Michigan / L.W. Hine. Here are several more from Hine’s visit to Corunna.

Not too many of Hine’s 5000 photos in the Library of Congress (hit “Preview” to see thumbnails) are from Michigan, but I figured a tiny opening was all that was required to introduce the work of one of this country’s truly legendary portrait photographers.

You can read more about Hine in Wikipedia, search the National Child Labor Committee’s collection at the Library of Congress and view some selected photos of child laborers from the collection at The History Place. There’s a few videos on YouTube – I thought this one titled Lewis Hine: Taking a Stand Against Child Labor was by far the most informative, relating details of how Hine gained access to closed factories and other aspects of his “sociological photography”.

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