Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine (1874–1940) was trained as a sociologist and educator in Chicago and New York. In 1904 he photographed newly arrived immigrants on Ellis Island with his students from the Ethical Culture School in New York. He felt so strongly about the abuse of children as workers that he quit his teaching job in 1908 to become an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Declaring that he “wanted to show things that had to be corrected,” he was one of the earliest photographers to use the photograph as a tool for social change. During and after World War I, Hine photographed the relief work of the American Red Cross in France and the Balkans, and in 1930 was commissioned to document the construction of the Empire State Building. Hine was the head photographer for the National Research Project of the Works Progress Administration.