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1911 COTTON SPINNERS BAREFOOT GIRLS CHILD LABOR PHOTO
   1911 COTTON SPINNERS BAREFOOT GIRLS CHILD LABOR PHOTO
This photograph shows young girls identified as "spinners" in a Carolina cotton mill, 1911. Photograph by Lewis Hine.

Hine is credited with being one of the inventors of "social documentary photography." This form of photography was really about documenting social problems--in this case, child labor--but resulted in some of the most haunting and stirring photographs of the last century. Another famous social documentary photography, probably more well known than Hine, is Dorothy Lange, whose photographs of Depression-era emigrants are almost icons of that turbulent time in America.
 
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