Thursday, December 22, 2011

Young Bicycle Messengers From ~100 Years Ago

Lewis Hine took thousands of photographs that make up the National Child Labor Committee Collection that was used to document terrible conditions for working children - the photographs were used to support arguing that laws should protect children.

The photos below are from the Library of Congress collection and are just a few of 159 at the Library of Congress (although not all show bicycles . . . ) - they are quite amazing.

Lewis Hine - Bicycle Messenger
Group of Western Union Messengers in Norfolk, Va. 1911

Lewis Hine - Bicycle Messenger
Leo Day, Postal Telegraph Messenger, 12 years old, and a very knowing lad. Tampa, Florida. 1911

Lewis Hine - Bicycle Messenger
Isaac Boyett, "I'm de whole show." Waco, Texas. 1913

The caption continues: The twelve year old proprietor, manager and messenger of the Club Messenger Service, 402 Austin Street, Waco. The photo shows him in the heart of the Red Light district where he was delivering messages as he does several times a day. Said he knows the houses and some of the inmates. Has been doing this for one year, working until 9:30 P.M. Saturdays. Not so late on other nights. Makes from six to ten dollars a week.

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