United States Child Labor: Work Area--Bowling Alleys

Figure 1.--The photographer, Lewis Wickes Hine took numerous photographs documenting child labor in early 20th century America. These 11-year old boys worked at this Massachusetts bowling alley until midnight. Which meant that they would hardly be very alert for school in the morning and had no opportunity to do any home work. In many cases the small earnings went to support the family.

A peculiarly America work area was pin spotting in bowling allies. The photographer, Lewis Wickes Hine noted about the image on the previous page: "Photo of boys working in Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, New Jersey. Photo taken late at night. The boys work until midnight and later. I found practically no small boys selling late in the evening and several persons said it was not done except in baseball season." The photograph was taken December 1909. He took this photograph in Lowell, Massachusetts during October 1911. Hine wrote: "Pin boys in Les Miserables Alleys, Frank Jarose, 7 Fayette St., Mellens Court, said 11 years old, made $3.72 last week. Joseph Philip, 5 Wall St., said 11 years old, and works until midnight every week night; said he made $2.25 last week and $1.75 the week before. Willie Payton, 196 Fayette St., said 11 years old, made over $2 last week, works there every night until midnight."


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Created: 6:27 AM 4/5/2005
Last updated: 6:27 AM 4/5/2005