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Lewis Hine, Photographer And Reformer, Honored In Print

Posted: Updated: 05/11/2012 7:35 pm

Lewis Hine documented America as it was, not how it wanted to be.

Originally trained as a sociologist, he turned to photography as a tool to highlight injustice, hardship and industry.

His images of the construction of the Empire State Building, of child laborers (which proved instrumental in helping form the first federal child labor law, in 1916), of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, and of people suffering through the poverty of the Great Depression, were encouraged social change in the early twentieth century, and exist today both as vital historical documents, and remarkable images in their own right.

Distributed Art Publishers has created an amazing book simply called "Lewis Hine" ($65), containing a survey of more than 150 images from the photographer, who died in 1940.

Here's a selection of amazing, iconic images from one of the great social photographers, focusing on the forgotten, the overlooked and the downtrodden.

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  • Powerhouse mechanic

    From the series: (Powerhouses) series 1920

  • Man on girders, Empire State building

    From the series: "Empire State" (Derrick Men) ca. 1931

  • Laying beams, Empire State building construction

    From the series: "Empire State" ca. 1931

  • Worker, Empire State building construction

    From the series: "Empire State" ca. 1931

  • Steelworker standing on beam. Touching tip of Chrysler building

    ca. 1931

  • Group of Italians at Ellis Island

    From the series: "Ellis Island" ca. 1905

  • SLOVAK MOTHER ELLIS ISLAND

    From the series: "Ellis Island" ca. 1905

  • LITTLE SPINNER IN MILL, AUGUSTA, GA

    From the series: "Child Labor (Textiles)" 1909

  • Girls at work in textile mill

    From the series: "Child Labor" (Textiles) series ca. 1912

  • NIGHT LIFE IN A SMALL INDUSTRIAL TOWN IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

    From the series: "Pittsburgh Survey" series ca. 1908

  • Child in tenement, Pittsburgh 1909

    From the series: "Pittsburgh Survey" series 1909

  • Grocery clerk behind counter

    From the series: (Workers, Misc. Occupations) series ca. 1915

  • N.Y. TENEMENT FAMILY GETS FRESH AIR ON A HOT DAY

    From the series: (New York City Slums & Slum Life) series ca. 1910

  • LIVING QUARTERS OF WORKERS FAMILY IN OLD TIME N.Y. TENEMENT

    From the series: (New York City Slums & Slum Life) series 1910

  • STREET PLAY IN THE EARLY DAYS - N.Y.

    From the series: (New York City Street Life) series 1910

  • Black family by fireplace

    From the series: (Southern Negroes) series 1920

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Filed by Andrew Losowsky  |