Friday, October 28, 2011

Joe Manning and the Lewis Hine Project - Follow Friday

"A Tampa, Fla., cigarmaker adolescent. Many beautiful girls and women in the business. Location: Tampa, Florida." Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, created/published in January 1909 January. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-nclc-04512 (color digital file from b&w original print) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Joe Manning is a freelance journalist, historian and genealogist. Through his work in these fields he was hired by author Elizabeth Winthrop to track down the history of a real-life girl whose photograph inspired Winthrop's work of fiction: Counting on Grace. The photograph was from the work of Lewis Hine, a prominent photojournalist around the turn of the 20th century hired by the National Child Labor Committee to document the working and living conditions of children between 1904 and 1924. You can view the collection held by the Library of Congress here.

Following his success in tracking down "Addie" from the first photograph, Joe Manning was hooked. He has since learned the stories of many of the other child laborers and families in the Lewis Hine collection. Manning has created a website that shows the photographs he has researched and tracks not only his success in finding the children but also the methods by which he discovers them. It is an interesting read for any genealogist. I was particularly drawn to the story of Catherine Young, widow and mother of 11, forced to make tragic decisions to keep her family alive. To read more about Joe Manning's Lewis Hine Project visit his website here.

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