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Child Labor Reform Exhibit 3

Photo of child with missing fingers

Hine's pictures were critical evidence in disproving those who denied the existence of exploitative conditions. As such they became the NCLC's most powerful weapons, enabling the Committee to garner broad public support for the cause by exposing wretched working conditions and their harmful effects on innocent children, some as young as six.

The NCLC was not alone in decrying child labor. Numerous organizations protested the crowded and unsanitary conditions in factories and factory dormitories where disease spread rampantly. They argued that the rigors of child labor weakened the future work force; and that at its worst, child labor caused death. They reasoned that children who were working 10-hour days were unfairly denied the universal education promised them by the state.