Here’s What Life Looked Like For Missouri News Boys In 1910 – It’ll Amaze You

We recently discovered these photos from the U.S. National Archives featuring real life news boys from 1910 in St. Louis. Photographer Lewis Wilkes Hine visited St. Louis as part of a tour for the National Child Labor Committee in early May 1910. He spent several days with St. Louis’ “newsies” and captured them on their corners and at their branch offices. Although they put on airs and played tough, they were actually just little boys, many of them orphans, working hard for penny tips selling the city’s newspapers.

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These photos were part of as many as 500 the photographer took documenting child labor in the U.S. at that time. Although the National Child Labor Committee was formed in 1904, it wasn’t until 1938 that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which finally placed limits on many forms of child labor.