Art: The Recording Angel of Labor

The recording angel of the American proletariat in the early 20th century was all but forgotten when he died in penury in 1940. He was a mild, slender, clerkish-looking and almost incredibly tenacious man named Lewis Hine. Lugging his clumsy 5-by-7 camera into the factories and mines and sweatshops of America, from the immigrant queues of Ellis Island to the cotton mills of North Carolina, Hine did for the laboring poor of his country what Henry Mayhew had done for London workers in the earlier years of Queen Victoria's reign. He identified a class...

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